Can I Get A Rhinoplasty When I Am Pregnant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 32 year old and about six months ago an ENT specialist diagnosed me with having a deviated septum. I have not had good sleep in about 15 years, because I have extremely restricted breathing. I do have insurance to cover the surgery but would prefer a plastic surgeon to perform the procedure, so that I may also correct a very large bump on my nose that I have extreme insecurities about. Do you know if your services would be covered by the insurance company? Also, is this a procedure that can be done if I am in my first trimester of pregnancy?

A: Your inquiry has two fundamental misconceptions. First, no elective surgery or procedure is ever performed on any patient who is pregnant. Pregnancy is an absolute exclusion for surgery and anesthesia because unknown and potentially deleterious effects on the developing fetus. Secondly, insurance does not pay for any external change to the nose such as removing a large nasal hump. That is cosmetic surgery and must be paid for as an out of pocket fee. Insurance will usually cover septoplasty and other functional nasal airway surgery but not for any rhinoplasty procedure. The two most certainly, and commonly, are done together but you will have to pay additional surgeon, OR and anesthesia fees for the cosmetic portion.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana