Deviated septum repair consists mostly of surgical options, often incorporating cosmetic nose job procedures into the functional reparation. A deviated septum is a controversial diagnosis which is often used to justify covered aesthetic surgery under many health plans, since the surgeon will bill for functional repair, while also including a full rhinoplasty, including nose resculpting for purely cosmetic reasons.
The insurance industry is actively trying to cut down on benefit theft involving using this suspect diagnosis to pay for a mostly cosmetic procedure.
Deviated Septum Repair Options
There are some nonsurgical home-use products which claim to assist patients with symptomatic nasal septum deviations. Most try to facilitate better breathing by stretching the nasal openings to maximize size during athletic activity or sleep. These products may be effective for some cases of deviated nasal septum, but will not cure the condition.
Surgical correction is the rule and consists of septoplasty. This surgical technique seeks to resolve septum issues, but is commonly included with a full aesthetic rhinoplasty.
While there is nothing wrong with this surgical synergy, billing the insurance carrier for a functional operation, when all along the goal is almost purely cosmetic, is true insurance fraud and is punishable by stiff penalties.
Deviated Septum Surgery
In order to fix a deviated nasal septum, the surgeon will seek out the reason for the abnormality and use various techniques to resolve the issue.
Internal bones may have to be broken and reset into correct position.
Cartilage may have to be cut and repaired.
Skin may also have to be removed.
There is no standardized approach, since the reasons and circumstances of deviations differ in every affected patient.
If a cosmetic rhinoplasty is incorporated, which it almost always is, then the surgeon will also address the general look and feel of the nose from a purely aesthetic viewpoint.
In rare cases, previous cosmetic nose jobs may actual cause a deviated septum and may require follow-up surgery to correct the complication.
Septum Repair Tips
We understand that billing insurance companies for cosmetic surgery is tempting and is very common for nasal procedures. The overwhelming incidence of asymptomatic deviations allows many patients to use the condition as a scapegoat, even though no pain or problematic complications result. This is virtually always done in an effort to get free cosmetic surgery and can be suggested by the patient or doctor alike.
If you are going this route, be wary, since insurance investigators are cracking down on these types of abuses and penalties for both doctor and patient may be severe.
To learn more about your options for correcting a deviated septum, and improving your nasal functionality, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon near you.