Many people who are concerned about aging believe they need a full facelift to restore a more youthful appearance, and it can be daunting to think about the cost and recovery time following that.
However, you can greatly reduce the signs of aging with a less complex eyelid surgery. At Virginia Surgical Arts, we offer upper and lower eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, to help you get back that youthful, refreshed look. Call our facial cosmetic surgery practice to learn if the procedure is right for you.
Blepharoplasty refers to the surgical procedure that removes and tightens the skin of the upper and lower eyelids. Plastic surgery to reduce excess skin on or around the eyelids can serve both cosmetic and medical purposes. Cosmetically, blepharoplasty can reduce sagging, fine lines, bags, and wrinkles, improving confidence and helping you feel more vibrant and youthful. Medically, blepharoplasty can keep your upper eyelids from irritating your eyes, causing dry eyes, and obstructing your vision.
When blepharoplasty is performed for medical reasons, it may be covered by insurance.
In general, there are three different types of blepharoplasty surgery: upper, lower, and combination eyelid lift procedures in which both upper and lower lids are addressed. In many cases, patients add additional procedures to their eyelid lift surgery to combine recovery time and operating room costs.
In some cases, aging can lead to droopy eyelids, causing changes in appearance and obstruction of vision. In other cases, we perform upper eyelid surgery because patients are unhappy with the appearance of their upper eyelids. During upper blepharoplasty, the upper lids are modified through the removal and/or tightening of excess, sagging skin.
Upper eyelid surgery can be performed with or without anesthesia, and patients typically go home the same day. While changes are noticeable immediately following surgery, it takes four to six weeks to see the final results.
Because every patient’s anatomy is different, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is always a customized procedure. Our surgeons need to evaluate each individual patient and create a plan for surgery that will achieve the desired result. The average cost for just upper eyelid surgery is around $3,200. In many cases, upper eyelid surgery is covered by insurance due to obstruction of vision and medical necessity.
Lower blepharoplasty is designed to address sagging of the lower eyelids or under-eye bags that develop as a result of age, genetics, anatomy, or lifestyle factors. This procedure requires the removal of skin and/or excess fat beneath the eyes to smooth and tighten the skin in that area.
Lower eyelid surgery is almost never performed for medical reasons. Therefore, it is typically paid for out of pocket by the patient. The average cost of lower eyelid surgery is over $6,000.
Following lower eyelid surgery, you can expect some puffiness, swelling, and bruising for up to three weeks after surgery. Most people need a week or two off work and see the final results about three months after the procedure.
During a combination eyelid lift procedure, the surgeon will correct both the upper and lower eyelids during the same procedure. Many patients with drooping upper eyelids also have extra skin and fat beneath their eyes — and vice versa. Having both corrections done at the same time can help you consolidate recovery time and save money.
Recovery after combination surgery is about the same as recovery after either upper or lower lid surgery; you can expect swelling and bruising as you recover and will likely need up to two weeks off work. You’ll see your final results about three months after your combination surgery. The average price when you choose combination lift procedures is right around $4,600.
Although the cost of eyelid surgery varies substantially from one patient to the next because of a multitude of factors, averages can be helpful in determining whether blepharoplasty is worth exploring during a consultation appointment. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost is $4,120.
The cost of your procedure can be more or less depending on a number of factors, like the experience of the surgeon, the type of procedure, and your geographical location.
As discussed earlier, blepharoplasty cost can vary significantly from one patient and one procedure to the next. Understanding which factors impact the total cost of your procedure can be helpful as you make decisions.
Many patients choose to have other cosmetic procedures done at the same time as their blepharoplasty, which can increase blepharoplasty costs but help them save on expenses and recovery time overall. The most common procedures that are done at the same time as eyelid surgery are a brow lift or forehead lift.
Typically, estimates for blepharoplasty do not include the cost for general anesthesia because local anesthetic is used in most cases. However, some patients prefer general anesthesia to limit awareness during the procedure. If you elect to have the procedure performed under general anesthesia (and your primary care provider agrees that you’re a good candidate), there are additional costs associated with it.
Pre-surgical expenses usually aren’t included in the estimate provided by the cosmetic surgeon’s office because those costs are incurred elsewhere. Sometimes, patients may need a pre-op appointment with their primary care provider to get clearance for surgery prior to their surgery date. Their primary care provider may order labs to ensure it’s safe to move forward with surgery. The cost of this pre-op appointment and any diagnostic screening tests ordered by primary care are not included in the estimate.
Additionally, you may leave your surgery with prescriptions for medications to manage your pain or prevent infection as you recover. There will be costs incurred when filling these prescriptions that are not included in your original estimate.
In most cases, blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll go home as soon as you recover — the same day as your surgery. If complications occur, a patient may require admission to the hospital. While very rare, any costs associated with a hospital admission are not included in the original estimate you received.
In most cases, eyelid surgery is not covered by insurance. However, your health insurance may cover the cost of your upper eyelid surgery in certain situations. Having a doctor’s note, taking photos of your eyelids that demonstrate medical necessity, and having obstruction of vision fields help you access insurance coverage for eyelids surgery.
It’s helpful to have a note from your doctor stating that eyelid surgery is medically necessary to preserve or restore your vision. Severely low-hanging upper eyelids can obstruct vision in a way that disrupts activities of daily living.
Because both patients and providers benefit when insurance companies cover the cost of eyelid surgery, insurers often require more evidence than a doctor’s note. The team at Virginia Surgical Arts will take and help you submit photos when we believe your case is severe enough to warrant insurance coverage.
Visual field tests can help demonstrate that excess skin is obstructing your vision. Submitting the results of a visual field test can typically help access insurance coverage for upper eyelid surgery.
You can help reduce the cost of a blepharoplasty procedure by choosing local anesthetic over general anesthesia, quitting smoking to reduce the likelihood of complications, and combining procedures whenever possible.
Virginia Surgical Arts will make every effort to maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures. Even if you are not found eligible, we have financing options for our patients, ensuring that improved confidence and quality of life are within reach for every patient.
When an eyelid lift is out of budget, we can help you explore other options that might help you alleviate symptoms and improve your self-confidence, like BOTOX® or dermal fillers.
Upper eyelid lifts can last from five years to lifelong, depending on anatomy and lifestyle factors, while lower eyelid lift typically never needs to be repeated.
Are you experiencing eye or eyelid irritation, dry eye, obstruction of vision, or declining self-confidence because of droopy upper eyelids or under-eye bags? It’s time to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon about a treatment plan.
Whether you settle on minimally invasive in-office procedures or reconstructive surgery, you can trust that you’ll look and feel rejuvenated and restored soon. There is a light at the end of the tunnel when you prioritize your sense of self and trust the experts at Virginia Surgical Arts with your cosmetic surgery needs.
To get started, schedule your free consultation with Virginia Surgical Arts by calling 757.430.7690 today.