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How much does a nose job cost?

Woman getting nose measured for surgery | Jonatan Fernstrom/Getty Images

Rhinoplasty or nose surgery, commonly known as a "nose job," involves a surgeon reshaping the bones, cartilage and tissues in your nose to alter its proportions and to enhance your facial looks.

Thought the procedure is often for cosmetic purposes, it also may be necessary to correct defects in the nose that impair your breathing.

When it's done as a cosmetic procedure, it's unlikely your health insurance covers a nose job, so it pays to spend time researching the costs before deciding if surgery is the right option for you.

So, how much does a nose job cost?

Rhinoplasty costs

According to statistics published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2014, the average cost of rhinoplasty is $4,694. However, this figure doesn't include other expenses, such as anesthesia and operating facilities, so the total price can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

The breakdown of rhinoplasty costs is:

  • Surgeon's fee of approximately $3,500.
  • Anesthesia fee of $600 to $1,000.
  • Operating facilities fee of $700 to $1,100.

Additional expenses may include surgery garments, medical tests and prescription medications.

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Factors affecting costs

There are many factors that determine the overall cost of a nose job, including:

  • The surgeon's skill: The most skilled plastic surgeons are in high demand, and their time comes at a premium.
  • The type of procedure: Complicated procedures take longer and therefore cost more.
  • Geographical location: As with any service, plastic surgery fees vary significantly between areas of the country, so where your surgeon chooses to operate has an impact on the price.

Second surgery

One of the biggest factors affecting the total cost is if you need to have a second surgery. Because your nose swells during the operation, the surgeon may get a false impression of the final shape of your nose. As the swelling goes down, it may become apparent that a second surgery is necessary to achieve the look you want. Approximately 15 percent of rhinoplasty surgeries require a second surgery.

To minimize the risk that a second surgery won't produce the expected results, ensure the surgeon is aware of your expectations. Consider cutting pictures from magazines as a visual aid.

Health insurance

Health insurance rarely covers cosmetic surgery, so if you're having a nose job for the sole purpose of enhancing your facial harmony, you usually will pay for the procedure out of your own pocket.

However, it's common for insurance to cover rhinoplasty for resolving a breathing defect or for reconstructing the nose following a severe trauma. Check with your insurance provider to see if you're covered.

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Choosing a cosmetic surgeon

Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex and difficult types of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, and if anything goes wrong with the procedure, or you're not happy with the end result, the evidence is on your face for everyone to see.

For these reasons, it's not always a good idea to choose your plastic surgeon based on price alone. It's worth bearing in mind the saying "you get what you pay for," and the main reason for selecting a surgeon should be the surgeon's skill, not the cost of the procedure.

Take the time to research possible surgeons, review the surgeon's work on other patients, get word-of-mouth recommendations and read reviews. Don't be afraid to ask for credentials before committing to a procedure, and if possible, seek a surgeon who regularly performs nose jobs and has special ear, nose and throat training.

Conclusion

A nose job is a difficult type of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, and it pays to find a skilled physician with the surgical and artistic talent to sculpt your nose perfectly.

When you ask specialists "how much does a nose job cost," understand that the best surgeons command the highest fees, and if your nose job is entirely for cosmetic reasons, you cannot rely on your health insurance to settle the bill.

Consider your options carefully, and make sure you're comfortable with the surgeon's level of skill and the amount the procedure is going to cost before making a final decision.

Fortunately, many surgeons offer payment plans if you don't want to pay a lump sum. If your nose job is for medical reasons, such as rectifying breathing problems, your insurance may cover the costs, so always check your insurance carrier.

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