Rhinoplasty is a very popular facial plastic surgery that consists of changing the physical appearance of the nose or solving problems that prevent proper breathing. In any case, it always requires the help of a professional and some high-end materials to perform the procedure, which means that it is expensive to get one.

If you are wondering if your health insurance plan covers your rhinoplasty, you should either analyze the terms of your insurance company or call them. In this article we discuss the nuances in the fine print of most health insurance plans.


What is the difference between a cosmetic and a medical nose job?

Rhinoplasty is either a cosmetic or medical procedure. Cosmetic rhinoplasty is purely aesthetic and improves the appearance of the nose, while a medical rhinoplasty corrects the patient’s breathing, fixes a major deformity, or repairs damage from an injury that may have occurred.


How is rhinoplasty surgery performed?

Rhinoplasty consists of making small incisions inside the nose, from which it is possible to reshape the bones and cartilaginous components of the nasal skeleton. The techniques used vary from patient to patient and depend on the desired result. Fractures are made at the base of the nasal bones to narrow the nose and lower the back a little.

These fractures can also be performed externally, through a 3-4 mm micro-incision, which allows a more precise approach, leaving a residual scar that is practically imperceptible. It is also very likely that some parts of the nose need to be enlarged. In this case, it is necessary to use some cartilage generally extracted from the nasal septum. At the end of everything, the skin spontaneously rearranges itself on the nasal bones.

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What are the cosmetic reasons for rhinoplasty?

The surgical procedure of cosmetic rhinoplasty can help change the size, shape, and overall appearance of people’s noses. These are some of the reasons why cosmetic rhinoplasty  procedures can be done:

  • Narrow or widen the nostrils
  • Narrow the bridge of the nose
  • Reshape the size and shape of the tip of the nose
  • Reduce or increase the size of the nose
  • Modify the angle between the upper lip and the nose
  • Straighten a crooked nose

In most cases, the surgeon can hide the nose reshaping incisions on the inside or outside. An ideal nose should complement the person’s face and be in complete harmony with the rest of the facial features. Aesthetic rhinoplasty procedures usually increase the patient’s confidence, but it is not the solution for deeper problems that affect their self-esteem. Each patient should have realistic expectations about how the procedure can influence their life.

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What are the medical reasons for rhinoplasty?

The medical reasons for rhinoplasty can be:

  • Cleft palate
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Accidents
  • Other medical conditions


Rhinoplasty for Cleft Palate

This is a congenital defect that usually appears in the first months of life and occurs when the upper lip and palate do not develop properly. It is manifested by slits in the upper lip, the palate, or both. It is recommended to correct it as it can be a problem for feeding and later impede speech. Although it is a medical condition, it is also corrected to improve the patient’s appearance. The surgery must be done before the first 12 months of life.

Children with these problems also tend to have nasal defects (cleft nose) that are usually caused by a deviation of the septum, deformations in the cartilage, a deficient inner lining of the nose, and abnormalities of the surrounding facial bones.


Rhinoplasty to Correct a Deviated Nasal Septum

In this case, it is a deviated septum and occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between the nostrils shifts to one side, making one of the nostrils smaller. A deviated nasal septum is a problem because it obstructs and reduces airflow, causing breathing difficulties as well as sinus infections or sinusitis.

In this case, a septoplasty must be done, which is the corrective procedure that is performed to straighten the nasal septum. This medical rhinoplasty procedure can be combined with a rhinoplasty cosmetic surgery.


Other medical conditions

A broken nose due to an accident, or a respiratory problem resulting from a deviation of the septum are other reasons for undergoing rhinoplasty. Nose surgeries are not only performed for aesthetic reasons, functional rhinoplasty improves the nose of patients. In case of difficulties with not being able to breathe, rhinoplasty surgery can help reconfigure the blocked openings or adapt the structure of the nose optimally.

Here are some medical conditions that require rhinoplasty:

  • Injuries
  • Correction of nasal obstruction
  • Nasal inflammation caused by chronic allergies
  • Burns
  • Broken nose
  • Deformities

Medical rhinoplasty surgeries mainly focus on the inside of the nose to fix internal breathing problems, but they can still change the external appearance. In addition, this type of surgery offers solutions to respiratory problems that can be dangerous over time.

Since functional rhinoplasty is for medical purposes, insurance plans may cover it in some cases. You only have to present the necessary documents from your doctor. The insurance company will see if it meets their criteria and, once approved, you can undergo rhinoplasty after having found the health professionals who can perform the surgery.

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Post-Operative Instructions for a rhinoplasty

Immediately after surgery, occlusive swabs are applied to both nostrils, which are usually removed after 48 hours. Most of the time, a small cast is also placed on the bridge of the nose to keep the bones from moving. This plaster should be used for 7 days, without removing it. Then it will be used for 7 days but only at night.

For the first 15 days after surgery, patches should be kept on the surface of the nose to shape it. In the first 24 hours after surgery, the patient will notice edema (swelling) of the face and eyelids, which is often accompanied by bruising.

After performing the surgery, the patient will be able to get out of bed after a few hours, being able to wash their hair after approximately 3 or 4 days. It is also possible to drive a car after 1 week. However, it is not recommended to be exposed to the sun and heat during the first months after the intervention, as it can cause edema. The patients can practice sports after 2 weeks, as long as they are not physical.

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Will insurance cover my rhinoplasty procedure in Canada?

Most insurance plans in Canada do not cover rhinoplasty surgery for cosmetic purposes. However, if you can show that the surgery must be performed to treat an affliction or injury, your insurance policy may cover it. 

Even so, it is advisable to check with your provincial healthcare plan to verify what your coverage options and conditions are. In most cases, they may not cover 100% of the surgery, but a percentage.


Schedule a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon

If you are considering rhinoplasty for functional or aesthetic reasons, it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon to get all the information you need. Facial plastic surgeons know the subtleties of nasal passage corrections. 

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