I Have a Diagnosed Turbinate and Septum Issue and I Want a Rhinoplasty. Will I Get Fees Waived?

If the situation comes up as a fraud issue then ill have to have the surgeries seperated which is ridiculous. Any ideas? I already I have a preapproval for the septoplasty.

Doctor Answers 15

Insurance for Septorhinoplasty

Most insurance plans will pay for the septal and turbinate correction  to improve nasal function. You will have to pay for any cosmetic changes. There will be no fraud issue.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Combining medically necessary and cosmetic procedures

The turbinate and septum surgery lasts approximately a half an hour and the rhinoplasty lasts approximately an hour.  The septoplasty and turbinate reduction are done out of medical necessity and are billed to the patient’s medical insurance for the time allotted to perform those specific procedures.  This includes fees for the surgeon, operating room, and anesthesia.  The rhinoplasty component of the procedure (operating room, surgeon’s fee, and anesthesia) is NOT billed to medical insurance, but paid for by the patient.  Both functional and cosmetic surgery can certainly be performed at the same time under one general anesthesia, but the billing has to be separated.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Combining Functional and Cosmetic Nasal Surgery

Thank you for your question about a topic that arises frequently. Functional nasal surgery (septoplasty, turbinate surgery) related to nasal breathing can be covered by medical insurance. That does not change the shape, size or external appearance of the nose. Check with your insurance carrier about any out of pocket expenses in the form of deductible and co-payments for which you may be responsible. Cosmetic changes to the appearance of the nose may be addressed with Rhinoplasty, which is not covered by medical insurance. Both procedures may be undertaken at the same time, which may be advantageous for several reasons. The cosmetic portion of the surgery will incur out of pocket charges.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Rhino septoplasty and turbs

It is not at all unusual to have these procedures combined.  Don't worry about the issue of fraud as long as you are honest about the insurance paying for the functional part and you paying for the cosmetic part. Just don't expect the insurance to cover all or even most of the cost.  I am sure your plastic surgeon is used to dealing with this situation.  You will likely be required to pay for at least the cosmetic portion before surgery.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Simultaneous airway and cosmetic nasal surgery-fraud or not?

This is not an unusual situation.  The insurance company will only be asked to cover the functional(airway) part of the procedure so the issue of fraud is not relevant.

Richard Albin, MD, PhD (retired)
Denver Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Rhinoplasty - cosmetic vs functional

Many rhinoplasties involve both functional improvements and cosmetic improvements.  These are usually done at the same time; you would never want to have them done separately!

Most plastic surgeons who perform aesthetic improvements on the nose are very familiar with the 'inner workings' of the nose as well!

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Insurance For Rhinoplasty #nosejob

I do these cases all the time. If you have a functional issue and you have been approved and you also want cosmetic surgery as well you can do both at the same time without any fraud issues. It is very simple. The anesthesia team and nurses in the operating room will keep a non-cosmetic time clock and a cosmetic time clock. The appropriate portion will be billed to insurance and the other portion you are responsible for.

Richard J. Brown, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews


If you ahve an airway issue and the insurance company will cover it, that will apply to that portion of the procedure. Any cosmetic work will have to be paid out of pocket.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Rhinoplasty: Functional & Cosmetic

The functional portion (e.g. septoplasty and turbinate reduction) will be charged separately and can be covered under insurance minus the deductible and copays.  The cosmetic portion will need to be paid out of pocket.  Some insurance companies can take a long time to pre-approve the functional portion.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you in achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Septoplasty coverage with insurance

I agree with all of my colleagues replies to your question. 

  • I would add that you should inquire with your insurance about your responsibility for copay and deductible costs for the septoplasty and turbinate. 
  • Best Wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.