The answer depends on the reasons you want or need the surgery. The surgery is considered elective and not covered by insurance if it is performed to correct the appearance of the nose. This may include reducing a bump on the bridge of your nose or adjusting its shape or size.
Your insurance plan may cover a "functional" procedure if there is a medical condition, such as nasal obstruction, or if surgery is needed to correct problems with breathing. If there are functional and appearance concerns, a portion of the procedure may be covered by insurance and a portion may not. Here’s a rundown of the medical conditions that may be corrected with surgery:
- Deviated Septum. The septum is a cartilaginous sheet that separates the right and left sides of the nose. The septum is rarely perfectly straight for anyone. A “deviation” is a bend of the septum. When the septum bends significantly to one side or the other, it can block the air passage on one or both sides, making it difficult to breathe.
- Swollen, Enlarged Turbinates. The turbinates are the humidifiers of the nose. They are made mostly of nasal mucosa, so they periodically swell in response to the environment (i.e., allergies) or to position. For example, if you lie on one side, you may notice that it becomes more difficult to breathe through the nostril on the “down” side. This is the effect of normal turbinate swelling. Sometimes, chronic enlargement of the turbinates can obstruct one or both sides. This condition may be treatable medically but may require surgery for relief.
- Middle Vault Narrowing or Collapse. "Collapse" refers to weakness of the middle vault or side walls of the nose. This causes them to fall inward with deep inhalation. You may be familiar with adhesive strips worn on the nose by athletes to hold the nasal passages open. These devices help prevent collapse of the nasal side walls when inhaling.