Understanding The Difference Between Facial Reconstruction And Cosmetic Surgery

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or fire, or were born with certain birth defects, the bone structure or skin on your face may be disfigured in a manner that hinders your life. There are also some diseases that will have a negative effect on your appearance and functioning of your face. You may not be able to eat or speak correctly, or you may be overly self-conscious of the way you look, making it difficult to be out in public in any way. When this is the case, you should seek out a professional certified in facial reconstructive surgery. This type of medical work is different from cosmetic surgery in a few very significant ways, although they may also be very similar.

Insurance Coverage

Because facial reconstruction is done to repair damage that hinders your life, it is usually considered a medical necessity and will be covered by your insurance. Cosmetic surgery, however, is completely elective. You will need to get confirmation from your doctor, perhaps from a therapist, and from the surgeon before the insurance will pay for anything, but this is usually not a problem. Very few health insurance policies will cover it, meaning you need to pay for it out of your own pocket. 

Determining the Need

There can be confusion as to whether a procedure is considered reconstructive surgery and not simply cosmetic surgery. If your nose is severely misshapen, making it difficult to breathe or causing you to have sleep apnea, you can talk to your doctor about having it reshaped to help with the medical conditions. This would involve facial reconstructive surgery. If, however, you simply do not like the fact that you have a large nose, it would be considered cosmetic surgery. The underlying cause for the surgery must be some type of medical issue, and the result must improve the condition.

While facial reconstruction must improve a medical condition, that does not mean you cannot obtain a certain look with the results. You will be able to discuss what you hope for with the surgeon. However, the doctor will need to consider what exactly needs to be done to remedy the medical condition first. Then, they will work with the situation to try to give you the desired outcome. Sometimes, you may need to settle for a less-than-perfect result. However, you may always seek cosmetic surgery to get the face you want. But remember, any cosmetic work will come out of your own pocket.