Rhinoplasty ("Nose Job") on the NHS

Although it is rare to have any kind of plastic surgery paid for by the NHS it is possible in some circumstances. Since the NHS has limited funding it tends to take the most urgent cases presented first, and usually cosmetic surgery is listed very low on the list of priorities. In order to be treated by the NHS you need a very strong case for having the surgery. Normally the procedure needs to be considered critically medical and not for simply aesthetic reasons. One such instance is when ‘septoplasty’ is necessary. A septoplasty is when the cartilage wall separating the two halves of the nose (the nasal septum) is straightened to allow air into the nasal passageways and alleviate breathing difficulties. Similar is the ‘septorhinoplasty’ where the two procedures are combined to correct the nose.

There are strict rules set out by the NHS governing who can be considered suitable for surgery payment and who cannot. As one way of measuring suitability, a doctor is likely to assess the amount of benefit to be gained by providing the surgery for you. For example if it is more than probable that your well-being will increase as a result from the treatment, either health wise, socially or physically, then the prospects of receiving the surgery are improved. As a loose general rule, if the surgery can be seen more as a beneficial ‘treatment’ than an aesthetical surgical procedure, it’s worth pursuing NHS help.

Your Suitability for a "Nose Job" on the NHS

More often than not the NHS is very likely to view any form of rhinoplasty surgery as purely aesthetically cosmetic so it is difficult to have the surgery financed by the organisation. However if the treatment is reconstructive or can be considered medically essential then there is a chance that you can have a "Nose Job" on the NHS.

Usually to be classed as ‘medically essential’, and in turn considered for treatment, you need to have a physical, functional defect with your nose. If you have breathing difficulties, sinus problems or headaches as a result of your nose then you may qualify for the surgery. Hereditary or congenital defects causing problems which have been present from birth may also provide an eligible case for NHS surgery.

The best way to find out if your rhinoplasty can be funded by the NHS is to book an appointment with your GP. They can speak to you objectively about the operation and can talk through with you your options. If they feel you have a case worth pursuing then they can refer you to an NHS surgeon. You need this referral in order to carry on further in your progress to gaining the surgery, there is no way to bypass this step. You will also likely undergo a psychological assessment by either a psychologist or psychiatrist to determine your mental health and attitude towards the surgery. If for any reason they find you to be mentally ‘unfit’ prior to the treatment then you are not likely to receive the rhinoplasty surgery.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Rhinoplasty on the NHS

The most obvious advantage of being able to have nose reshaping surgery on the NHS is that your "Nose Job" will be of no financial cost to you. The downside however is that the process is very lengthy and will most likely take a long time to progress. Even if you are granted the surgery you could be on the surgical waiting list for anything up to 18 months. In addition to this since the NHS views the procedure as solving a medical problem there is no guarantee that your nose will improve aesthetically after the surgery.


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RHINOPLASTY

COSMETIC SURGERY

HEALTH CENTRES