Will Insurance Cover A Rhinoplasty If A Septoplasty Is Being Done At The Same time?

Q: I had my nose broken seven years ago that has left me with a crookedness to it that I am pretty sure is due to the bone. I also have had trouble breathing since the injury through the left side of my nose. I would like to get my breathing problem fixed and the nose straightened again like it was before. In addition at the same time I would like to get the tip narrowed and shortened which I think would make it look better overall as well. Will insurance cover all the costs of the procedure since most of my nose problems were due to the injury?

A: The complete corrective procedure to which you refer is known as a septorhinoplasty. This is a combined  reconstructive and cosmetic procedure. Insurance will usually cover the medical necessary parts of the operation that relate to breathing improvement, the septoplasty and turbinate reductions. Changing the outward appearance of the nose known as the rhinoplasty portion, however, is not covered by insurance since it results in improvement in appearance not function. Both septoplasty and rhinoplasty are commonly done together and the out of pocket expense for the rhinoplasty is often less when done together with an insurance procedure than when done as a stand alone operation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana