How much does a septoplasty cost?
The average total cost of a septoplasty is $8,131. Get a cost estimate based on your location, insurance, and doctor below.
If you were born with or developed a deviated septum, your doctor may recommend corrective surgery (called a septoplasty) to fix it. Since septoplasties are usually elective, knowing how much it costs can help you decide whether to have surgery.
Amino found that the median network rate for a septoplasty is $8,131. Keep in mind—this is an estimate for what you and your health insurance company might pay together (combined) for the procedure, not the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket.
You can use Amino to find an experienced surgeon and estimate your out-of-pocket cost below. Then, read on to learn more about what a septoplasty is and what affects the overall cost.
Find a doctor and calculate what you’ll pay
Use Amino (below) to find an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) with experience doing septoplasties. After entering your information, select a doctor and click “calculate what you’ll pay” to see a cost estimate customized to your insurance.
What is a septoplasty?
A septoplasty is used to fix a deviated septum—when the bone and cartilage that divides your nose into two nostrils is too far to one side, blocking your airway. Your doctor may recommend a septoplasty if you have difficulty breathing, pain, or frequent nosebleeds.
Septoplasties are usually done by ENTs, but sometimes plastic surgeons do them too (especially if you want to alter the shape of your nose while you’re under anesthesia). Most surgeons opt for general anesthesia to avoid the risk of blood aspiration.
During the surgery, your doctor will make an incision on the side of your nose and move your septum and mucous membrane into the correct position. Some people need stitches to keep it place, while others simply need to pack their nose with cotton during recovery.
Septoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure (you can go home the same day), but your cartilage and nasal tissues may take up to a year to fully recover, since it takes a while for the swelling to go down. In some cases, a second surgery may be required if the septum shifts and becomes deviated again.
Who needs a septoplasty?
If you have any of the symptoms below, you may have a deviated septum that could be treated with a septoplasty:
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Facial pain
- Recurring sinus infections
- Sleep apnea
If you have any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider or an ENT. But keep in mind—a septoplasty is an elective surgery, and not everyone needs it. It’s a personal decision made on a case-by-case basis.
Are there alternatives to a septoplasty?
A septoplasty is the only way to correct a deviated septum, but if you aren’t experiencing difficulty breathing or any other symptoms, your doctor may advise against the procedure. If you’re unsure whether you need surgery, talk to your doctor about your options.
How much does a septoplasty cost, and what determines the price of a septoplasty?
Amino found that the median network rate for a septoplasty is $8,131. We found the price ranges across the US from $5,152 to $12,633—that’s a huge difference.
These are the factors that impact how much a septoplasty costs:
If you have a plastic surgeon alter the shape of your nose while you’re under anesthesia, the procedure will likely cost more.
Where you live often affects how much your surgery costs, especially since it determines which hospitals and doctors are available to you. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may have more options to choose from.
The network rate, which is what our estimates are based on, is negotiated between your health insurance company and doctor or hospital—so your insurance company and whatever provider you choose will play a large role in determining cost.
Your health insurance plan affects the cost of your surgery for a few reasons. Whether your surgeon is in-network or out-of-network can impact the overall cost. Your co-insurance and co-pay, as well as how much of your deductible you have left, can also make a difference in how much you pay out-of-pocket.
What happens during the procedure, such as what kind of anesthesia you get (and whether your anesthesiologist is in-network or out-of-network), can change the cost. If emergencies arise during surgery, you might have additional unexpected costs.
Your personal health also plays a role in how much your surgery costs. If you go into surgery with preexisting health problems, there could be additional expenses.
Now that you know how much your septoplasty could cost, let’s explore insurance coverage and how to get the most care for your money.
Will health insurance cover your septoplasty?
Most insurers cover a septoplasty as long as it’s medically necessary, which may require proof of pain or discomfort. If you don’t have any symptoms (“asymptomatic”), your insurance company will likely not cover it.
If you don’t have insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket. Most of the cost comes from facility charges, so where you get care (which doctor and facility you go to) can have a big impact on your total cost. For an out-of-pocket estimate, visit Amino’s regional cost estimates for a septoplasty, click on your city, and then click “calculate what you’ll pay.”
How to get the most for your money
Even if your insurance does cover some or most of your septoplasty, you’ll likely pay some of the cost out-of-pocket. To make sure you’re getting the most (and best) care for your money:
Ask your insurance company about your costs, like co-insurance, copays, and deductibles
Utilize your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to cover out-of-pocket expenses
Do your research and compare prices for different doctors
Look into outpatient centers—they often have more affordable surgery options
Have a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important if you don’t have insurance and are paying for your septoplasty yourself. Some doctors will offer a discount or an interest-free payment plan if they know that you’re shouldering the cost on your own
The cost of a septoplasty in the US
Using Amino’s health insurance claims database, we found how the largest metro areas (with more than 1 million residents) compare when it comes to the cost of a septoplasty.
The 10 least expensive metro areas for a septoplasty
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR — $5,152
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL — $5,470
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL — $6,043
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX — $6,059
- Austin-Round Rock, TX — $6,312
- Birmingham-Hoover, AL — $6,369
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD — $6,410
- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA — $6,436
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL — $6,554
- Oklahoma City, OK — $6,648
The 10 most expensive metro areas for a septoplasty
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA — $12,633
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA — $12,542
- Raleigh, NC — $12,108
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI — $11,727
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA — $11,592
- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT — $11,208
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI — $10,721
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA — $10,629
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA — $10,234
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN — $10,069
Ultimately, the cost of a septoplasty is determined by many factors. You can use Amino’s cost estimates for septoplasties as a guide to help you understand how much it costs in your area, what factors into the total cost, and how much you might pay out-of-pocket—but you should always double check with your doctor and insurance company.
Amino's cost estimates are refreshed periodically. This post was last updated on May 18, 2017 with new data.