A rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic changes in the nose such as reducing the bulbous tip, adjusting nostril asymmetry, and shaving down the dorsal hump. Patients most pay for that component of the surgery themselves. A septoplasty is performed in the back of the nose for breathing difficulties known as a deviated nasal septum. A septoplasty will not change the shape of the nose. After patients have failed medical therapy for nasal obstruction, consideration for surgical intervention can be entertained. Medical necessity must be documented prior to the surgery for medical insurance to cover the septoplasty component of functional breathing. Co-pays and deductibles will still apply
Although your nasal tip may be deviated, your septum may not be. If you have breathing difficulties, some insurances will pay for the functional portion of the procedure, but not the cosmetic portion. I recommend consulting with a Board-Certified plastic surgeon who will accurately examine your nose, create a simulation that would show you what your nose could look like after surgery, and develop a plan tailored to your individual needs. Best wishes!
Your deviated septum can be straightened, your wide asymmetrical tip can be narrowed and refined, and the bump can be removed with a septorhinoplasty procedure. Most insurance companies will accept claims for the correction of functional problems caused by a deviated septum.
Insurance will often, not always, cover the portion of nasal surgery to help you breathe. Any cosmetic portion of the procedure represents an additional out of pocket expense. The issues you describe with your nose are often addressed during septorhinoplasty surgery. Please seek a consultation with a rhinoplasty expert for specific advice. I hope this information is helpful for you.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon