The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that cosmetic procedures – which includes surgical and minimally-invasive – are on the rise for the ninth year running. So how are patients affording rhinoplasty cost?

In fact, around 270,000 more people had a cosmetic procedure in 2018 than during the previous year.

When it comes to surgery, after breast augmentation and liposuction, rhinoplasty or a “nose job” is the most popular. And it’s easy to understand why.

Given that our facial features are so prominently on display, improving the shape of a nose that’s been a worry for years can be life changing. Evidence suggests it improves confidence and self esteem (hello mirror!) and other research claims it contributes to more positive social interactions and ongoing relationships.

But there’s lots to consider when making the decision to have a rhinoplasty that can lead to delays in potential patients booking a no-obligation consultation. This can cause a continued sense of unhappiness about a patient’s appearance – sometimes for months – often for years.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is rhinoplasty cost. As well as the surgery itself, patients should be prepared to pay for extra fees including anaesthesia and hospital charges. As a guide, Adam Kolker, a board-certified surgeon in New York, estimates in The Complete Guide to Rhinoplasty that the total cost of a rhinoplasty ranges from about $6,000 to $15,000.

But the ASPS statistics lead us to believe that rhinoplasty isn’t just for the rich and famous. It’s reported that demand for cosmetic surgery continues to rise even against a backdrop of economic recession and research from the Foundation for Economic Education claims that procedures are getting cheaper. This means that having a nose job is becoming more affordable for average incomes earners.

So, if you’re someone who would like a nose job, how can you pay for it? Getting the funds together is a matter of personal choice and depends on your circumstances, but if you plan well and budget sensibly, there are several ways to bring a rhinoplasty within your financial reach.

Setting up a Savings Account

Suitable if you’re willing to wait for your rhinoplasty 

You can consider saving for the whole or at least part of the cost of surgery in advance.

If you’re in a high-deductible health plan, you can open a health savings account for medical procedures, such as a septoplasty or functional rhinoplasty. The money you put into a health savings account is tax deductible and withdrawals are tax free as long as the funds go towards paying for a qualified medical expense and not an aesthetic procedure. There’s also no tax to be paid on the interest.

If your surgery is for aesthetic reasons, and not covered by an HSA, another option is to open your own high interest savings account.

Finder.com reviewed nearly 100 savings accounts to help you compare what’s out there and their Editor’s Pick, Barclay’s Online Savings Account offers 1.7% interest with no fees or minimums.

Building up your savings requires you to review your income and outgoings to make sure you can save a portion of your disposable income without causing financial struggles elsewhere. You may find there are some obvious cuts to your monthly outgoings that won’t cause much impact to your lifestyle but can help boost your savings.

Not only is this a good opportunity to do a financial spring clean it’s also a great chance to think creatively about how to increase your income.

Do you have a side project you can monetise? Although this also contributes to taxable income, many people earn extra cash from part time jobs or from flexible working.

You can also consider doing some recycling and getting busy with the online auctions. Not only will you clear the house of clutter, you’ll be saving the planet and topping up your savings account too

The bonus about saving for the procedure in advance is obvious. You can undergo surgery with the confidence that you can afford it and it takes a lot of pressure off your finances in the future.

Check your Insurance Policy

Suitable for those requiring a more immediate solution and the procedure may be considered a medical necessity

It’s generally accepted that aesthetic rhinoplasty cost won’t be covered by your health insurance but reconstructive surgery (for health reasons) is. But it’s worth a check with your insurer just to make sure.

According to The Balance, what’s considered cosmetic plastic surgery (aesthetic) versus medically necessary is entirely up to your insurance company and may change over time. However, most insurance companies follow the definitions given by the American Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

If it’s for health reasons – like improving your breathing, solving sinus problems or correcting a fracture – then the procedure is known as a septoplasty – and the plan is more likely to cover the costs.

Where surgeons discover they are operating on a nose for both aesthetic and medical reasons – perhaps to straighten a crooked nose that has impaired nasal passageways that affect breathing – the operation becomes a septorhinoplasty. And the medical portions of this procedure may be covered by your health insurance policy.

The only way to find out for sure is to take the advice of a board-certified surgeon who can provide an accurate assessment of your nose and provide you with a medical assessment that you can then take to your insurance provider.

If it does look like you’re covered – find out what your deductible would be and whether you’re expected to pay for any of the costs yourself. Check also whether the policy covers pain relief medication as well as the procedure. If you think your plan will cover some of the septoplasty or functional rhinoplasty cost, make sure you get the breakdown in writing from your insurer as confirmation before having the surgery.

Borrowing a Lump Sum

Suitable for those who are able to pay back their debt over the long-term

For a purely aesthetic procedure, many patients consider borrowing money in order to fund their surgery.

Some pay for it using a credit card. If you’re thinking this is the route for you, Claire Tsosie at Nerdwallet.com advises borrowers to minimise costs by seeking a card with a long introductory 0% APR period, no fee and to make sure they pay on time, every time. Reading the terms carefully is imperative as well as watching the limit – the combination of a low-limit card and an expensive procedure can lower credit scores. This can be avoided by lowering the amount of available credit being used.

Another option is a personal loan from your bank. Emma Johnson from creditcards.com says the advantage of this route is that you have a fixed interest rate and fixed amount of time in which to repay. It may also boost your credit rating but – and this may be a plus as well as a minus – she says you won’t be able to add more to the balance should you need to later.

Thirdly, there are healthcare credit cards to think about which provide a line of credit specifically designed to cover medical bills. Subject to credit approval, the largest provider, CareCredit, offers a health and wellness card that’s accepted by over 200,000 providers across the country.

CareCredit states that no interest is charged, if a provider offers promotion financing, with shorter term financing of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months on purchases of $200 or more as long as the minimum monthly payments are made and the full amount is paid at the end of the promotional period. Interest is charged after this date.

This means a $7550 rhinoplasty cost (realself.com), paid for on the Deferred Interest may work out at $1259 per month over 6 months or $315 a month over 2 years. For more terms and conditions, and to put in your own figures, check out the CareCredit calculator here.

Meet a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Boston to find out your options

As well as thoroughly researching your finance options, you also need to know exactly what your surgery entails.

You may have a bump on the bridge of your nose, feel your nasal tip doesn’t suit your face or that your nose is too wide but until a board-certified surgeon can assess you during a consultation, you won’t know what’s involved or how much time you will need to recover.

A consultation is also your opportunity to discover exactly how big your investment will be – as well as to find a board-certified doctor who you personally connect with.

I think the most important component of the consultation is to establish a good connection with your plastic surgeon.  It’s the connection that allows you to clearly define your desired nose outcome goals, the first step of this whole process. If you don’t feel you have a good connection with your plastic surgeon after your consultation, he/she may not be the best surgeon for you.

Dr. Markarian

One way to minimise your outlay is to stay local. This cuts down on travel and accommodation costs and means your surgeon is close by for any follow up appointments you may have.

There are many board certified doctors in Boston. One of these, Dr Mark Markarian, believes rhinoplasty procedures are the most detailed in plastic surgery as the slightest adjustment to one element of the nose can affect another. For this reason, he offers thorough consultations to give personalized guidance to his patients so they are well informed about the aesthetic and medical implications of their surgery – as well as their rhinoplasty cost.

Minimize your Recovery Time

While it is cosmetic surgery – it is still a physical ordeal – and recovery time should be factored in to your diary as well as your financial planning.

You may have enough paid vacation time accrued to cover the time off you’ll need but even if you don’t, the good news is your job should be safe. Under the Family Medical Leave Act created by the US Department of Labour – certain employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks unpaid job protected leave per year. It’s worth checking what you’re due.

Either way, minimizing your recovery time means you can be fit for work, and earning again, sooner rather than later.

But there is a lot that patients can do to speed up their own recovery. Physical therapist and author of After the Cut, Nicole Psomas has written a how-to guide for preparation and recovery after cosmetic surgery and claims that those best prepared for surgery have better results.

Aria MedTour provides 10 tips for a quicker recovery including using a cold compress around the nose after the operation, avoiding wearing glasses and sleeping propped up on pillows to help with the swelling.

One way to get a good idea of recovery times is to read other patient’s blogs. Claire, guest blogger for Mya Cosmetic Surgery, says that during the first week of her recovery from a septorhinoplasty, “my face was changing every day…my face was swollen, bruised and bloody but I experienced no pain at all throughout the whole process…Towards the end of the week everything had cleared up and I was ready for the cast to be taken off.”

But while patients might be “public ready” in two weeks, thanks to the swelling, Dr. Michael Menachof says it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to see the final results from your rhinoplasty.

It’s true that having a rhinoplasty is a personal and unique experience and while many people are sure they want it – they’re not sure how to pay for it. One of the first tasks is to gather as much information as you can and make a connection with a local friendly board-certified surgeon who will answer all of your questions about aesthetic options – and the rhinoplasty cost that goes with them. Then it’s a matter of deciding whether you’re going to save or borrow to make sure you achieve the best all-round result for you.

Then you can begin to look forward to the benefits that the surgery should bring.

Disclaimer: This article is for research purposes only and does not provide medical or financial recommendations. We advise you to consider your investment in surgery carefully and take independent financial advice when required. For any medical question, seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty plastic surgery, Facts and figures correct as of February 2020.