Upper lateral cartilage collapse - is its repair covered by insurance?

I went to an ENT and am having chronic rhinitus and deviated septum due to upper lateral cartilage collapse from a rhinoplasty 3 years ago. Is it possible to have its repair covered by insurance? I am not looking for anything cosmetic at this point, just an intact bridge.

Doctor Answers 3

Upper lateral cartilage issue

Unfortunately, upper lateral cartilage issues are not related to deviated septum and chronic rhinitis.  Insurance may cover a deviated septum if it can be proven that you have airway obstruction.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Nasal cartilage collapse

Thank you for your question.

Upper cartilage collapse will not cause a deviated septum, and it is unlikely to cause rhinitis symptoms. Complications of cosmetic surgery are not usually covered by your medical insurance. 

Normally, standard septoplasty (straightening the septum internally) is covered with preapproval. If there's narrowing of the nasal passage causing problems with breathing, that repair may also be covered with prior approval.

Good Luck.

Michael Yerukhim, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Upper lateral cartilage collapse

Unfortunately complications from cosmetic surgery are not paid for by medical insurance. Chronic sinusitis and deviated septum are not caused from a collapsing upper lateral cartilages. They are  three completely separate issues the can all be addressed at the same time when needed. To improve and support collapsing upper lateral cartilages requires a spreader graft placement. For more information, diagrams and many examples, please see the link and the video below 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 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.