As you age, your skin loses elasticity, which can result in wrinkling. The same process is true for the skin around your eyelids. The muscles that move the eyelids and skin can weaken over time, which causes sagging, drooping and bags to develop under your eyes. This can make you appear older and even impede your vision in extreme instances.
A plastic surgery approach known as blepharoplasty can help to minimize eyelid drooping and sagging. This outpatient procedure involves removing excess skin from the upper or lower eyelids or both. It typically takes two hours or less, according to the Mayo Clinic. While you may start to see results within weeks, it can take up to six weeks for the incision lines to fade.
Blepharoplasty can often bring about a more youthful and rested appearance for those who experience bags under the eyes. The length of time the results will last depend upon skin quality. While some patients may find permanent relief from eyelid sagging, others may require additional procedures over time.
Blepharoplasty Cost Variables
Cost can be a major factor in determining if blepharoplasty is right for you. A number of factors go into determining blepharoplasty costs. One is the specific type of eyelid surgery performed. For example, lower eyelid surgery is typically $2,400 while upper eyelid surgery is $2,100. If your choice is laser eyelid surgery compared to the traditional blepharoplasty approach, the cost may be higher, anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
A large portion of the blepharoplasty cost is the surgeon’s fee. The average surgeon’s fee for blepharoplasty was $2,480 in 2007, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Another aspect of the cost is anesthesia, which can cost between $400 and $600. Blepharoplasty typically is performed using local anesthesia, which means the area around your eyelids is numbed to prevent you from feeling anything during surgery. You also will be given an intravenous medication that helps you relax. This may make you feel groggy, but won’t put you in a deep sleep as general anesthesia can. However, your surgeon may recommend general anesthesia for your lower eyelids, which involves placing you in a deep sleep.
You may also have fees for surgical suite time. While blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, the surgical suite time can vary based on the eyelid surgery approach. For example, a single upper or eyelid procedure can cost $500 while the cost for both upper and lower eyelid surgery varies from $800 to $1,000.
Insurance companies chiefly view blepharoplasty as an elective procedure. However, a common exception is when a patient experiences ptosis. Also known as eyelid drooping, this condition occurs when the nerves controlling the eyelid become damaged or weakened. Ptosis can occur as a person ages or be the result of an injury or medical condition, such as a stroke. This condition may necessitate blepharoplasty because eyelid drooping can impede your vision, which affects your safety.
If your physician has diagnosed you with ptosis, your insurance company may pay some or all of the associated blepharoplasty costs. Your insurance company may ask your physician to provide documented evidence that your eyelid drooping is severely affecting your vision.
Paying for Blepharoplasty Surgery
Many surgeons will offer payment plans or information on personal loans to finance blepharoplasty costs. For example, payment plans may involve paying a portion of the costs prior to the surgery, then paying additional installments over the course of a year or less.
If you are contemplating other cosmetic surgery procedures, such as laser hair removal, your surgeon may offer discounts for having them performed at the same time. Because you are already paying for anesthesia and surgical suite fees, this may be a cost-effective option if you are interested in other procedures.