The septum is part of your nose and is made of bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity right in the middle. A deviated septum is when this part of your nose is bent, deformed or crooked, either from birth or due to a traumatic effect or condition. People that have a deviated septum notice a lot of discomforts, like facial pain, headaches, loud snoring during sleep, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, occasional nosebleed or even infections, or nasal congestion. A simple solution to fix all of these problems is a deviated septum surgery, also referred to as septoplasty.
The Costs of This Surgery
Some online resources give an average septoplasty cost with health insurance of around $3,300 and a maximum price of $7,500, prices that include other adjacent fees like medical facility costs, anesthesia, and the surgeon’s fee. This fee can differ based on the state and city you’re in. For example, you might spend over $3,700 if you live in New York, while people that choose to get the surgery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin might spend less than $3,100.
Other sources give much higher costs, with full expenses for a deviated septum surgery reaching an average of $18,000 and a maximum price of $30,000 or even more, depending on the private clinic you choose and the additional services you need (like graft or replacement of cartilage or even contouring of the inside of your nose). You can expect these prices especially if you don’t have health insurance.
Your health insurance will usually cover any surgery meant to fix a medical condition, but it won’t cover an intervention made to fix cosmetic defects. Depending on the type of deviated septum, the septoplasty might have to be accompanied by plastic surgery to remake your nose structure (also known as a rhinoplasty). Although the two procedures might be done within the same day, your health insurance will usually cover just the deviated septum surgery, leaving you to pay the entire price of the cosmetic procedure.
While some insurance plans might only offer a $100 – $150 discount along with a copay for the medical specialist, other more expensive insurances might cover a 10 – 15% copay up to your annual maximum limit and hospital expenses.
Costs You Should Expect Before a Septoplasty
Like any other surgeries, a septoplasty will require at least one or more pre-surgery consultations and/or some additional medical tests. These will have individual fees but they might be included in the final cost of the surgery, depending on what you’ll agree with the specialist and the hospital or clinic you choose.
Here are some costs you should be prepared for before the surgery:
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- The price of the first consultation and if needed, prescription of antibiotics will usually cost around $200, or less if you have insurance.
- Some doctors might prescribe a mild steroid along with the antibiotics, which will usually add $50 to the final cost
- If a second visit is required before the surgery it will have the same price as the first one, around $50 – $100.
- If needed, a CT Scan will set you back around $300, but it might cost less with insurance
- Any additional visits should have the same price as the first two
Costs Related to The Surgery
Along with the actual price of the surgery, be prepared to spend some money on other items, especially medical items that aren’t included in the cost of the surgery. Your doctor should give you all the information regarding additional costs, but the items will usually cost anywhere from $5 to $100 or more each.
As an example, cost compresses will cost around $15 and will help to give a little post-operatory comfort to the patient.
If it isn’t readily available in the post-operatory room, a humidifier will help with a patient’s breathing, especially right after the surgery. If you plan to buy one, don’t spend more than $25 – $50 on one, especially if you don’t plan to take it with you after you’re released from the hospital.
Here’s What a Septoplasty Procedure Will Consist of
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As soon as you’re under the effects of anesthesia, the surgeon will make an incision of small dimensions inside your nose and lift the skin on one side of your septum. As a reference, this is the stage when a procedural complication called septal perforation happens. On some rare occasions, the patient might experience a septal perforation, a condition that is caused by the involuntary tearing of the mucosal lining while the surgeon lifts your skin on your septum.
If this happens, the surgeon will have to try to fix it by cutting the septum right at the deflection, on spot, and lift the mucosal lining on the other side of the septum, to avoid having it touch the deviated septum.
As a next step, the surgeon will remove the bent or damaged part of the septum and fix the deviation. Some surgeons choose to just place the septum into the right position, but this technique is only temporary and will surely lead to complications later along the way.
As a final step, all the surgeon has to do is stitch the lining back together into the right position, right in the middle of your nose. A few stitches are usually all it takes to finish the job, although, on some rare occasions, you might need septal splints, this is the surgeon’s choice.
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Should the average working Joe get a septoplasty
If you have a serious problem with your breathing, if you get easily fatigued or if you snore really badly, then it might be a good idea to get a septoplasty. Although the procedure isn’t cheap, it will surely improve your life. Although the final cost will be important, you shouldn’t try to cut the price by choosing an unreliable clinic or doctor, because, as with most medical interventions, it should be done by a professional to avoid any complications.