The Cost of Repairing a Septal Perforation

Now that you’ve decided to get a reparative treatment for septal perforation, you have to consider the cost. It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious. Here are some things you should know.

Factors that Affect the Cost

The cost of surgery to repair a septal perforation can vary substantially based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Location of the surgeon performing the procedure
  • Surgeon’s experience and reputation
  • Intricacy of the procedure.
  • Number of grafts used
  • Size of perforation
  • Amount of soft tissue coverage needed
  • Whether temporalis fascia needs to be harvested

In general, surgical procedures of any type cost more in urban areas, in California and in the Northeast than in other geographic areas. Septal perforation repair is a very complex surgery, and the cost usually reflects this.


In some cases a patient’s insurance carrier will cover the cost of septal perforation repair surgery. Patients experiencing nose bleeds, whistling sounds, crusting and other symptoms are often covered. Check with your insurance carrier to be sure.

Patient Financing

If you are concerned that you might not be able to afford the cost of septal perforation repair surgery, be sure to ask your surgeon about patient financing options. A number of programs are available to help people in your situation. However, keep in mind that the cost should not be your primary consideration when choosing a surgeon. Septal perforation repair is a complicated, invasive procedure, so you want the best surgeon available.

the cost of repairing a septal perforation with the patient before and after photo

Other Factors to Consider

Alternative treatments

It’s possible that you won’t even need surgery. In fact, septal perforation repair is usually considered the last resort. The first line of treatment for septal perforation is medical management, which involves non-invasive treatments such as nasal sprays and ointments. For more information speak with your surgeon.

Are you a candidate?

The complexity of the septal repair procedure means that some people do not make good candidates.
A qualified specialist will be able to thoroughly examine you and tell you if you are eligible for septal perforation repair surgery. Patients with diabetes or any condition that reduces blood supply to the septum are generally not good candidates for this procedure.

Choosing a surgeon

When looking for a surgeon you should not consider anyone that seems to be offering discounts. Choosing a cheaper surgeon may cost you more in the long run, because you may end up having to undergo additional procedures. Look for a board certified otolaryngologist with extensive experience performing septal perforation repair surgeries.

Success rate

The outcome of your surgery will depend in part on how large the perforation is and on how well you follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions. The success rate of this procedure is actually quite low overall; some estimates put the failure rate at 40-60 percent. Large perforations are more difficult to close than small ones, so you are more likely to have success if the perforation is small.

Special precautions

Special precautions need to be taken when performing septal perforation repair. Instruments such as 3D cameras help surgeons to see the nose in high definition, which can greatly improve the ultimate outcome and reduce recovery times by allowing the surgeon to avoid disturbing sensitive tissues. Using minimal incisions is another way to minimize trauma to sensitive tissues.


After the surgery your nose will probably be sore and you will have some bruising. You may feel nauseated as well.

You will have to stay at the surgical facility for a minimum of a couple of hours after the procedure. Due to the fact that septal perforation repair is a complicated, invasive procedure, it may be necessary to remain at the facility overnight. You will also need to have a relative or friend drive you home.

If the surgeon uses surgical packing, it will be removed within a few days. You should expect swelling around your nose and the area around your eyes for a number of days. Cold compresses and pain medications can be used as necessary to bring the swelling down. You will also need to keep your head elevated. Be sure to have someone monitor your temperature, because a high fever could mean you have an infection.

How quickly you’re able to resume work and everyday activities will depend on how your recovery progresses. After a couple of weeks the swelling should begin to subside, and will gradually continue to go down thereafter. It will also be necessary to sleep on your back for a number of weeks.