Functional Nasal Surgery
Functional nasal surgery has evolved quite a bit over the last few decades. Technological advancements have allowed procedures, such as the septoplasty, to be done with far more precision and accuracy, yielding better results. A deviated nasal septum and large turbinates are two of the most common causes of nasal obstruction, but there are many other causes as well. Dr. Hall has vast expertise in functional nasal surgery, with a greater than 95% success rate in improving nasal breathing with both primary and revision surgery. Also, with Dr. Hall’s expertise in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, he has extensive training and experience in medical management of nasal congestion, and finds that the majority of his patient’s with nasal congestion issues can get dramatic improvement without the need for surgery.
In the past, sinus surgery required incisions to be made on the face and in the mouth. Extensive nasal packing was required to promote healing, and patients experienced a great deal of pain and discomfort on the long road to recovery. Thanks to modern advances, such as the nasal endoscope, sinus surgery can now be performed entirely through the nose. Dr. Hall’s theory in sinus surgery is focused on “functional” sinus surgery, which involves as limited surgery as possible to clear nasal polyps, chronic infection, and restore normal sinus function. Dr. Hall rarely uses nasal packing with any of his nasal or sinus surgeries, and his goal is to have the patient well and recovered from surgery as quickly as possible.
While rhinoplasty surgery may be performed for purely cosmetic reasons to improve appearance, often the primary or simultaneous goal is to restore the ability to breathe through the nose. In this case, the surgery is more specifically referred to as a functional rhinoplasty. This is different from a septoplasty, which involves only repair of the internal wall that divides the nasal cavities, or from a cosmetic rhinoplasty, which is done to improve appearance. A functional rhinoplasty typically involves repair of the nasal valves, which is the medical term for the internal cartilage valves within the nostrils. These can be congenitally narrow (meaning you are born that way), collapse with age, or can be scarred from prior surgery. While surgery on the nasal valves is usually performed to restore breathing, it typically necessitates some type of change to the appearance of the nose.
Health Insurance Coverage
Although any surgical alteration of the nose intended purely for cosmetic enhancement is not eligible for health insurance coverage, functional disturbances of the nasal airway are typically covered by most health insurance plans. However, both functional and cosmetic concerns are often addressed at the same time. Not only does this avoid the additional risk and downtime of a second surgery, it also increases the probability of a successful outcome since the form and function of the nose are irrevocably intertwined. Although medically necessary surgical procedures are still potentially eligible for insurance coverage, the patient must assume full financial responsibility for all costs related to purely cosmetic corrections. When functional and cosmetic procedures are performed at the same time, the cosmetic portion may be billed at a lower rate.