Michelle Staughton is a Patient Education Interviewer and Patient Care Coordinator for several top Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. With over FOUR years’ experience helping plastic surgery patients at Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men, after having been a patient herself, Michelle offers a wealth of knowledge to help surgical patients with cosmetic and plastic surgery planning and recovery tips.
To apply for insurance coverage for a functional rhinoplasty, your surgeon can perform one of several tests. A CT scan shows irregularities within the nose that are not visible to the naked eye. An acoustic rhinometry is a test that maps the inside of a patient's nose. A rhinomanometry tests the level of airflow within the nostrils. In some cases, insurance companies require that patients show that they have attempted to treat nasal obstruction with other treatments. These may include antihistamines, allergy desensitizing injections, and steroid spray.
Insurance companies rarely cover rhinoplasty; it’s usually considered an elective cosmetic procedure. The exception is if you have an injury or a breathing problem that makes the surgery medically necessary. “Sometimes insurance will cover surgery performed to correct post-traumatic deformities,” says Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Afrooz in a RealSelf Q&A. “Insurance will pay for the portion of a rhinoplasty that is done to improve your breathing, such as correcting a deviated septum [septoplasty] or reconstructing collapsed breathing passages.”
Tip: Learn about the possible complications of breast augmentation, which include breast pain, changes in nipple sensation and hardening of the breast tissue around the implant. The FDA provides information on risks. Also, be aware that if you choose to have the implants removed, your breasts probably will not look the same as they did before surgery.
Women with ruptured silicone gel implants also need to factor in downtime when asking how much do breast implants cost. Whether you take time off work, hire a babysitter for your kids, or make other accommodations while you recover from surgery, you need to factor in these costs. Dr. Jane Rowley, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Lubbock, Texas, explains the difference between removal of silicone gel implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT, “there’s a big difference between removing a ruptured IDEAL IMPLANT and a ruptured silicone gel implant. A ruptured IDEAL IMPLANT can be removed easily with a local anesthetic. A silicone gel implant, if they’re not ruptured, can come out that easy. But if they are ruptured, most of the time its stuck, and it bleeds, and you have to put drains in. So it’s not an easy recovery, it’s not an easy surgery. With an IDEAL IMPLANT I can almost guarantee them ahead of time, if your implant is leaking it will be easy to remove and replace, you will be back to work in a day or two at the most. With a silicone gel implant I’ll say, ‘I don’t know what your recovery is going to be, it might come out easily, it might not come out easily. You might need to take week off work, you might have to take two days off work.’”
"Many times, the cost of rhinoplasty or other surgery in New York City would be three times the price as in a smaller town, but it is not three times better necessarily," Dr. Park said. "At the same time, I would warn patients to beware of a physician in a small town that costs a fraction of what an average rhinoplasty would cost. In general, when a surgeon is throwing in discounts, I would be very wary."
Dr. Miller says it’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations. “It’s not a good idea to take a wide, thick nose and turn it into one that’s thin and tiny,” he says. “But if the steps are done properly, we can make the desired changes.” Thick nasal skin that makes it challenging to refine the nasal tip needs to be thinned out, for example. It’s important to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic rhinoplasties.
The closed vs. open rhinoplasty technique concerns only how the surgeon gets inside the nose to make the required changes, not what’s accomplished with the rhinoplasty procedure itself. Reshaping your nose may include breaking and removing bone and cartilage. If cartilage needs to be added, say, to rebuild the tip of the nose, it’s often taken from the septum, the middle portion of the nose—a technique called a cartilage graft. Cartilage may also be taken from other areas of your body, such as your ear. In some cases, a synthetic material, like a silicone implant, is used; but studies have shown that there may be more complications with synthetics. Cartilage grafts, nasal-bone osteotomies (removal of parts of the bone), dorsal-hump removal, and suture techniques applied to the nasal tip cartilages can all be performed with either the closed- or open-approach rhinoplasty.
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Multiple procedures can be combined in one surgery; for example, septoplasty (which straightens or repositions the bone and cartilage between your nostrils) is often performed along with rhinoplasty. The additional procedure will increase the total cost of the surgery, but (because it can solve breathing problems) the septoplasty may be covered by your insurance. Rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is usually considered elective and rarely covered.