Will Insurance Cover Rhinoplasty Following Mohs Surgery?

I recently had Mohs surgery on my right nostril for basal cell carcinoma. In addition, I have always wanted rhinoplasty to change the shape of my nose. The scar (more like a chunk out of my nostril)is still very visible three years later. Will insurance cover a rhinoplasty since I have had skin cancer? Also, can a rhinoplasty be done using local anesthetic?

Answers (13)

Scar revision vs rhinoplasty

Two completely different procedures. The first one is a reconstructive procedure and can be covered by insurance. On the other hand,  rhinoplasty is cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Will insurance cover rhinoplasty following Moh's Surgery?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Surgical procedures for aesthetic purposes, to improve appearance, are not covered by insurance. Typically, these as well as complications resulting from such procedures are the responsibility of the patient. Procedures that are meant to correct functional issues and those which cause health-related issues should be covered by your insurance as a medical necessity, with proper examination and documentation. Some insurance plans have exclusion criteria for certain procedures. Also, it is an obligation of the surgeon not to attempt to authorize purely cosmetic procedures through insurance.  Your rhinoplasty portion should not be covered by insurance as this is a cosmetic procedure, as you state.  Depending on what refinements of your nose you will have done as well as you and your surgeon's comfort level for doing the procedure under local anesthesia will determine if you can have it done.  But, it is possible.

Discuss your issues and complaints with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss these as well as to examine and assist you in deciding which procedure(s) will be the best for you. A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages will take place along with the risks and benefits. Insurance companies will vary on coverage and is always reasonable to discuss your issues with your surgeon and primary care. It would behoove you to get as much information as possible and even call your insurance yourself. Certainly, pay in advance prior to your surgical procedure and options such as financing are available if you qualify. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!
Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
28 reviews

Rhinoplasty not covered by medical insurance

Rhinoplasty is a procedure whereby the entire tip, bridge, and alar areas can all be addressed by changing them.  This is done under a general anesthesia.  A rhinoplasty is never covered under medical insurance since it is cosmetic in nature and not medically related.  Even a simple scar revision will not be covered under insurance unless it is creating a functional breathing problem. 

Rhinoplasty after Mohs Cancer Surgery

Your insurance company will probably only cover surgery to correct any problems caused by the Mohs surgery. Your surgeon's office will help you answer that question by requesting pre-op authorization.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
47 reviews

Rhinoplasty and insurance coverage

Typically insurance doesn't cover Rhinoplasty and it's probably not a good idea to have a Rhinoplasty under local.  Even if you could tolerate the injections and they made your nose numb enough to undergo a Rhinoplasty...which is a big if IMHo of doing Rhinoplasty for over 20 years....there's no way to stop bleeding from rolling down the back of your nose and making you choke and gag...which would be a nightmare for you and your surgeon.

Have an anesthetic.  It protects your airway, you'll be more comfortable in the long run and your surgeon will have a better chance of doing his job.

Rhinoplasty after skin cancer excision

Insurance will almost always cover skin flaps, skin grafts, and other reconstructive techniques after skin cancer removal. Rhinoplasty would be covered only if it was related to the cancer reconstruction.

Rhinoplasty vs scar revision

Your insurance company may cover your scar revision for your Moh's reconstruction but will not likely cover a rhinoplasty.

Steven Wallach, MD
Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
30 reviews

Insurance won't cover a cosmetic rhinoplasty despite history of Moh's on nostril

You have uniformity of the answers to your question which should definitely tell you something!!. The deformity related to Moh's surgery has nothing to do with the general reshaping of your nose. If you wanted to pursue both issues, your insurance may cover the issues related to the nostril deformities but the rest, that is the cosmetic component, will need to be paid for by you. Attempting to do a cosmetic rhinoplasty under the pretense of a reconstructive issue is fraud and can ultimately come back to haunt you one way or another if initially it succeeded.

Insurance for Mohs repair

Your insurance will cover reconstruction of a Moh's defect, however you would be responsible for all the costs incurred in doing a rhinoplasty - essentially a cosmetic procedure.  You might be able to find a doctor to do this through your insurance, but that could amount to insurance fraud.  So if he or she is cheating the insurance company, is he also shortchanging you?

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
8 reviews

Rhinoplasty after cancer surgery.

Your insurance will only cover the reconstruction of the nostril and not the rhinoplasty. The rhinoplasty can be done under local or general anesthesia.

Toby Mayer, MD
Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
40 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.

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