If my Insurance Covers Fixing a Deviated Septum How Much More Should I Pay to Make my Nose Smaller?

My Dr says I need to have my Deviated Septum fixed and my Turbinates cut. My insurance will cover this but I would aslo like to have the bridge of my nose shaved a little. Should this be free? If not how much more (on average) should I have to pay for this?

Doctor Answers 12

Insurance only covers medically necessary surgery, not cosmetic

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A deviated septum and turbinates surgery is performed for airflow improvement to the nose and is done out of medical necessity.  This is typically billed to the patient’s insurance, but remember you still have co-pays and deductibles to deal with.  These procedures only improve the airflow dynamics through the nose and do not affect the shape of the nose.  A rhinoplasty procedure is performed for cosmetic purposes and patients have to pay that portion themselves.  The fee for the rhinoplasty procedure is approximately $7,012, which includes the operating room, anesthesia, and the facility fee.  The rhinoplasty procedure takes much longer than the functional breathing surgery.  The rhinoplasty procedure would involve narrowing the nasal tip, possibly narrowing the nostrils, and possibly osteotomies depending upon how much of a hump is present.  This is done with general anesthesia through closed rhinoplasty techniques where the incisions are placed inside the nose.  This surgery is performed in our Medicare certified ambulatory surgery center.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

How much should I pay for my rhinoplasty

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Each surgery has their own payment structure. When evaluating the patient for rhinoplasty their are maneuvers that can be performed specifically to improve the function of the nose and their are maneuvers that are performed specifically to improve the appearance of the nose. A septoplasty improves the function of the nose. Putting in spreader grafts to widen the nasal valve on the inside in order to improve breathing improves the function of the nose. Taking down a dorsal hump or changing the appearance of the nasal tip are cosmetic maneuvers. Typically, the office staff will submit the functional aspects of your surgery to your insurance carrier and you will be informed of how much you are responsible for. The surgeon can then estimate the amount of time required to perform the cosmetic portion of the procedure and you will be required to pay cash for that portion. Make sure to get specific numbers on what is covered by insurance and what isn't covered prior to doing the procedure. It is very important to make sure that everybody is on the same page financially.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


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Some surgeons might throw in a little lowering of your nasal bridge for free, but  I suspect most will not.  The cost really depends on the individual surgeon and how involved the cosmetic work is.  Also consider that there could be additional fees from the anesthesiologist and operating room, particularly if done In a hospital as opposed to the doctors office.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cost of Cosmetic Rhinoplasty when Done with Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction

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Even if you only do the functional surgery (the septum and turbinates ) insurance will rarely cover the total cost of the operation. After consultation to determine what will be done cosmetically  the office staff will contact your insurance company so you will know the part of the charges that will be your personal responsibility.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Insurance Coverage Varies Greatly between Policies

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While the functional portion of your surgery may be covered by insurance the aesthetic portion will be charged directly by the patient. This varies surgeon to surgeon what the added cost will be. Of course any surgeon has the right to offer this additional portion free as long as the insurance is not billed for the enhanced time. I know this is confusing as it is a commonly asked question. Discuss with your surgeon ahead of time what if any added he will bill so there are no surprises! Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews


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As a Cosmetic Surgeon, I do not bill insurance.  Patients pay a specific surgical fee and then I perform the contracted work.  If the turbinates & septum need surgery, I include this with the patient's septorhinoplasty surgery.  Hope this helps.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Insurance coverage varies.

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Rhinoplasty and Insurance coverage varies. Your deviated septum payment could be $1000 or $5000 depending on the carrier. It does not pay for hump removal and that is not free and will vary depending on the skill of the surgeon and the amount of other work that needs to be done.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Insurance Coverage

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This is a difficult question to answer. The medical portion such as the turbs and septum are covered under insurance. Anything additional, that is considered cosmetic, can cost anywhere from 6500 to 9000, depending on how much work needs to be done cosmetically.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 283 reviews

Deviated Septum--Will my rhinoplasty be covered?

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Your deviated septum causing nasal obstruction should be covered by most insurance plans when it interferes with breathing. Any component of cosmetic surgery will be your responsibility.  The price for cosmetic nasal lsurgery varies tremendously on how much work is involved.  I wish that I could give you a realistic estimate but that is one thing that is impossible in this day and age  of the internet.  You must be examined in person the good old fashion way so that I can see the inside of your nose.  From that time on, I could give you an accurate price.

Theodore Diktaban, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Insurance won't cover any cosmetic changes to your nose

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Insurance won't cover any cosmetic changes to your nose. If you're undergoing a septoplasty and turbinate reduction, your plastic surgeon can perform a cosmetic rhinoplasty at the same time. The costs vary widely by surgeon, region and extent of the cosmetic changes you desire. This might range from $3000-7500. There is unfortunately no way to "game the system" and have your insurance cover the cosmetic portion of the procedure. Trying to do so can backfire and result in a denial of coverage for the entire procedure which would leave you on the hook for a very large medical bill. It's just not worth the risk.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

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.