How does a surgeon achieve removing a dorsal hump on the bridge of the nose and what's a rough cost estimate of the procedure?

I'm looking into getting my dorsal hump removed and I am curious how doctors remove the bump during surgery. Also, is there any possible reason insurance would cover a dorsal hump removal? Lastly, what should I look for in possible surgeons when searching for the right one?

Doctor Answers 12

Hump removal...

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The most important thing when working on the nose is to find a surgeon that specializes in rhinoplasty. That way you will have the best chance at a great result. A hump is typically filed down so that the nasal bridge is straight. It is considered cosmetic so insurance would not cover this procedure.

Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews


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Thank you for your question. A dorsal hump can be removed by performing a procedure called a rhinoplasty. During the procedure extra cartilage can be cut out along with filing of the bone to smooth out the bump. This wouldn’t be covered by insurance because it isn’t considered medically necessary and is purely cosmetic. The cost depends on the area and surgeon you choose. I can tell you that the RealSelf average for a rhinoplasty is between $7,000-$8,000. When looking to schedule a consultation, I would recommend scheduling one with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty. Best of luck!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Process to Remove Dorsal Hump

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To remove a dorsal hump would require a rhinoplasty.  The dorsal hump is typically caused by a extra bone and cartilage in the area.  This bump can be removed during a rhinoplasty.  Insurance would not cover this purely aesthetic procedure.  The cost for a rhinoplasty can vary widely but is should cost around 8,000 for a qualified surgeon.  Do not choose your surgeon based on price.  It is better to have the rhinoplasty done correctly the first time.  I hope this helps.  

Dorsal Hump Removal

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Hi and thanks for your question.  There are different ways to remove a dorsal hump, but I use scissors to remove the cartilage part of the hump and then rasps (files) to remove the bone part.  Using rasps for the bone portion is far more precise then using a chisel as some surgeons do.  It is very unlikely that insurance would cover this unless it was part of a much larger breathing issue with a very deviated nose.   In finding the right surgeon, experience, training, results (before and after photos) and reviews are all very important.  Sites like Realself are great for identifying great surgeons in your area.  

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 113 reviews


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There is bone and cartilage that contribute to the dorsal hump and they are both typically shaved down through either and open or closed approach. Insurance doesn't cover the cosmetic part of the surgery for 99% of patients, but there are other parts of surgery that it can cover. The costs of surgery depend on what insurance can cover and other regional differences. But in general the costs of surgery include facility fees, anesthesia fees and surgery fees, all of which I've seen range from 4000 to over 10000.

Samir Undavia, MD
Princeton Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Dorsal hump

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A dorsal hump is often a combination of bone and cartilage. My preferred technique is to rasp the bone down and then carefully trim the cartilage with scissors or a scalpel.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty for dorsal hump removal

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The dorsal hump is composed of both bone and cartilage which must be shaved down in order to remove it. The cartilage is cut with a knife, while the bone is cut with an osteotome.  Once the hump has been removed, osteotomies are required to be placed in the nasal bones to close the open roof created from the hump removal. Medical Insurance does not pay for a hump removal. Rhinoplasty is a difficult endeavor, so choose your surgeon very wisely based on extensive experience with the procedure. Make sure your surgeon is performing rhinoplasty on a weekly basis and has done so for many years. In addition, look at their before and after photo gallery, which should be extensive.  Digital computer imaging performed in the office setting is a helpful communication tool as well. For more information, many before and after rhinoplasty results, and our current price list, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Rhinoplasty - Dorsal hump reduction

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Shaving a dorsal hump in isolation could result in suboptimal results, unless there are absolutely no other nasal problems that need correction.  The technique varies depending on the pathology.  Hump removal involves removal and remodelling of the cartilage (septum, upper lateral) +/- bone shaving.  Again, this often requires reconstruction to provide a natural result.  The cost should not be the deciding factor as the skill and hence the outcome of the surgery is what is really important.  Insurances may cover this if the hump is a result of trauma or causes airway obstruction.  In looking for a surgeon, always seek a rhinoplasty specialist preferably a facial plastic surgeon who specialises in rhinoplasty.  Rhinoplasty is the most difficult operation performed on the face and if done incorrectly by an occasional surgeon it can have severe life long consequences.  Do your home work and consult a few surgeons and look at their before and after pictures, not the computer simulations, as they speak nothing of the surgeons skills.  Go with whom you can trust and form a relation with based on their skills.  Hope this is helpful

Dorsal hump

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Dorsal humps are composed of bone and cartilage.   Therefore,  the hump is reduced by rasping the bone (or using a chisel) and removing cartilage incrementally with a scalpel.   It is very rare for insurance to cover reduction of  a dorsal hump unless there was trauma involved.  Even in  cases of trauma it is typically viewed as a cosmetic maneuver.  To find a surgeon,  you should make sure he/she specializes in rhinoplasty.   There is no room for "dabbling" in rhinoplasty.   You should look critically  at before and after photos from the surgeon.   Check reviews as well.   Then you should meet with  a few surgeons to see who you like.   Good luck!

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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Hello and thank you for your question.  A dorsal hump can be smoothed and straightened by rasping the bone and resecting some cartilage.  It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon. During your consultation, make sure that you don't feel rushed and make sure that you have adequate time with your surgeon and not just their patient coordinator or nurses. If the majority of your consultation is spent with someone other than the surgeon, this is usually not a good sign. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified expert surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.