What Could I Expect From Insurance Coverage If I Combined Septoplasty and Tip Rhinoplasty?

I will soon be getting a septoplasty, which my insurance will cover completely, done to improve my breathing. I've been considering getting a tip rhinoplasty for quite a while, but have put it off due to the financial cost. Would getting both done at the same time result in a lower cost to me?

Doctor Answers 10

There are multiple benefits to combining the procedures

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Prices for tip rhinoplasty with or without septoplasty will definitely vary with geographic location and with the level of training of your surgeon.  There are serious advantages both in terms of cost and post-operative healing to combining procedures into a singe surgery.  If you are having trouble breathing or recurrent sinusitis related to a deviated septum, I would STRONGLY recommend that you see a board certified ENT prior to undergoing surgery.  You are correct that insurance will cover the cost of septoplasty (you may require turbinate reduction as well- this will have to be determined on examination) and the anesthesia time associated with the septoplasty and turbinate reduction. The cost of the tip rhinoplasty and cosmetic operating room and anesthesia fees are the fees that you will need to pay out-of-pocket, and these fees can vary greatly depending upon the subspecialty training of the surgeon you choose and the facility in which they operate.
In terms of healing, it is easier to have a single surgery to recover from than multiple surgeries. 

Technically, if you are thinking about having a rhinoplasty, you should definitely wait to do your septum until you do both procedures at the same time.  Properly performed rhinoplasty often requires multiple cartilage grafts to reinforce the new structure for your nose.  The easiest place to obtain these cartilage grafts is from your own septal cartilage.  If you were to go ahead with a septoplasty, and then decide to do your nose in a few years, your surgeon would lose the ability to use your own septal cartilage for these grafts and would have to seek out other sources for cartilage, such as your ear cartilage.  It is definitely best to do both septoplasty and rhinoplasty at the same time.

While cost can vary, in my practice (upper east side of Manhattan), the cost is approximately $4000 surgeon's fee, and $2,000 to the operating room and anesthesia, for a total of around $6000 out of pocket.  Please bear in mind that this is just an estimate based on the information you provided.

I will end by saying that while cost is a consideration for almost everyone, I counsel my patients that the most important thing in choosing a surgeon, assuming that you are choosing among equally qualified and capable surgeons, is choosing a surgeon who's aesthetic and opinion you trust.  Aesthetic surgery is a little bit science and a little bit art.  Inevitably, your surgeon will need to make decisions for you while you are asleep that will impact your final result, and you need be comfortable that you and your surgeon are on the same page in terms of the goals of surgery and what you consider to be a beautiful result.  I find that pre-operative imaging really helps make sure that me and my patient are indeed on the same page. 

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty

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It might benefit you to do both procedures together from both a cost and recovery perspective. Since many of the incisions can be combined and breathing will be difficult right after either procedure, it makes sense to do them together.Also, many surgeons may discount the procedure to you so you should inquire about that as well.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Septoplasty and tip rhinoplasty

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Septoplasty is a breathing and functional aspect of the procedures you discuss while the tip plasty is a cosmetic procedure which is not covered under your insurance. When done in conjunction the insurance company will pay for a portion of the operating room, anesthesia, and recovery room time that was delegated to the functional aspect of the surgery and you would be responsible for the cosmetic portion. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

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Tip rhinoplasty (tip-plasty) with septoplasty

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It sounds like there is plenty of agreement among my colleagues that the tip-plasty is a cosmetic procedure and insurance will not cover any portion of the procedure. I totally agree. In cases such as yours we will often perform the procedure in our office operating room and perform the septoplasty at no charge (no co-insurance, co-pays, etc) as part of the tip-plasty. I would recommend that you discuss this issue with your surgeon to see what your options are. One thing to be aware of is that many, many surgeons perform septoplasty procedures and do them well. However, since you are considering your nasal tip, make sure that you are working with a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon who is well versed in both cosmetic rhinoplasty and septoplasty. Your surgeon needs an additional skill set if you're seeking both procedures as opposed to a septoplasty alone.

Thank you for your question.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Not much

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Once upon a time, insurance companies paid a reasonable figure for your septum. Now they reimburse the Doctor about $600 for the septum. A drop in the bucket when it comes to a good, skilled rhinoplastic surgeon who you would want to do your nose.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


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 I am happy that your insurance will completely pay for your septoplasty.  The tip rhinoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and of course your insurance will not pay for that.  Many doctors will give discount on the tip rhinoplasty since it is a second procedure. A tip rhinoplasty can cost somewhere between $2,900 and $4,000 for the doctor's fee.  Sometimes the operating room and anesthesia can also be done at a reduced rate. This is just an approximate and every doctor and every operating will vary somewhat.

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Insurance Coverage for Septoplasty and Tip Plasty

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Although your insurance company will cover your septoplasty they will not pay for your tip plasty. However, it will not cost you as much money for the tip plasty as it would if you did this as a separate procedure.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tip plasty and septoplasty

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Either way, you will have to pay for the tip plasty and you may have to pay a portion of the facility fee and anesthesia based upon the cosmetic portion.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tip Rhinoplasty at the time opf a Septoplasty

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It would be less expensive for you if you do the tip work at the time of the septoplasty, but there would not be insurance coverage of the tip rhinoplasty. The surgeon's fees would probably not be reduced, but the OR and Anesthesia costs probably would be less than if you went back later for the tip procedure.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty

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If the septoplasty gets authorized the you'll get coverage for that part. That will potentially include coverage of part of the facility and anesthesia. Whether the surgeon bills for the cosmetic component is between you and him/her.

Neal Goldberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon

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.