Will having my deviated septum fixed change the outward appearance of my nose, possibly straightening it out? (Photo)

Hi, I am quite fond of my nose, however one thing that bothers me is that it is crooked to my right side. Is my deviation bad enough to get fixed under insurance? Also, will getting my deviated septum fixed make it more straight on my face? If not - will rhinoplasty be covered under insurance for this purpose? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 9

Straightening a septum can change the shape of the nose.

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Just changing the nasal septum, that is now in your left nostril,  to the middle of your nose will change the tip to be more midline. You may also require your bony vault to be moved to the right or your internal valves to be opened which would also change the shape of the nose. If your nose was broken and needs repair this will also change the shape of the nose. These functional issues will be helped by insurance. A cosmetic nose alone is not covered by insurance. If your doctor finds that straightening your nose is needed for breathing issues you should review photographs of what it will look like afterwards to make sure you are both on the same page. Because of your breathing issues you should see someone who has an additional board certification in otolaryngology. You need to keep in mind that you want a straighter nose that also works well.

A full septorhinoplasty is the best solution for your problem

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In most Crooked Nose and  form and function are interlinked, you need a full Setorhinoplasty operation  even to to get the best functional result, the cosmetic improvement is a  part of your surgery.

Brajendra Baser, MS, DNB
India Facial Plastic Surgeon

Will Correctng Deviated Septum Change Appearance?

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Anything done to improve nasal function is usually covered by most insurance companies. Straightening the septal cartilage will probably correct the deviation in the lower 2/3rds of the nose and therefore the external appearance. Straightening the deviated boney septum will not change the appearance of the nose.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Will having my deviated septum fixed change the outward appearance of my nose, possibly straightening it out?

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    Breathing related issues may be covered by insurance.   The outward appearance is considered cosmetic and will not be covered.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Septal deviation and rhinoplasty

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If your septal issue causes breathing difficulties it may be covered by insurance. However this does not usually correct deviations enough and nasal bone work is usually necessary.  A cosmetic fee is often added to improve the cosmetic appearance as well.

Septoplasty versus rhinoplasty

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A septoplasty  is performed for a deviated septum which involves removal of  cartilage and bone in the back of the nose. It is done for medical necessity to improve air flow through the nose. Functional surgery is  billed to the patient's medical insurance.
The rhinoplasty procedure would involve straightening the nose and involves osteotomies of the nasal bones and this cartilaginous drug or graft placed on the concave side. Expect to pay for the cosmetic portion yourself.
A septoplasty and a rhinoplasty are two completely different operations, both performed at the same time under one anesthetic. For many diagrams explaining the difference between septoplasty and rhinoplasty, please see the video link below 

Will having my deviated septum fixed change the outward appearance of my nose, possibly straightening it out?

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A septoplasty, which is typically covered by insurance if you have breathing problems, will not change the external appearance of your nose. A septorhinoplasty can be performed to deal with both issues but changing the shape/ symmetry of your nose would not be covered by insurance and typically have an additional out of pocket cosmetic charge. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Deviated Septum and Rhinoplasty

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Let's separate the different questions. First, a correction of your deviated septum would usually be covered by insurance if it causes a functional problem such as difficulty with breathing. It also would be covered if it was due to some trauma.  A full rhinoplasty is not usually covered by insurance unless it is a reconstruction from an injury.

Next, correcting a deviated septum will make the nose straighter but not completely straight. To answer this question you will need a consultation by a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon. After your surgeon has done a complete evaluation, they can tell exactly what is causing the altered shape of your nose and what steps will be necessary to correct it.

Lastly, as to the question if it is bad enough to get fixed, that's really depends upon you. If you cannot breathe well then you should consider getting it fixed and it will likely be covered by insurance. If you just don't like the appearance, then the choice is up to you and insurance usually won't be involved.  Best of luck to you.

Al Rosenthal, MD
Lawrenceville Plastic Surgeon

Will having my deviated septum fixed change the outward appearance of my nose, possibly straightening it out? (Photo)

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It depend on what is done. In general the external nose will not change significantly with the septoplasty. To reposition the front portion of the septum a technique has to be used.

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.