Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure that effectively treats drooping in the upper and lower eyelids. The surgery is typically done to counteract the signs of aging, but may also be done in younger patients where genetic traits are a motivating factor. In most cases, blepharoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure, not covered by most major insurance plans. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery's 2009 statistics, the average cost for a blepharoplasty procedure is about $2,717, which does not include the price of anesthesia or a surgical facility. However, estimating eyelid surgery cost is a tricky task, since many variables are factored into the final price of the procedure.
Extent of Surgery
The extent of the eyelid surgery will probably have the biggest impact on the final cost. Some patients will choose to have only the top or bottom eyelids addressed, while others will request treatment on both. The average cost of a single eyelid treatment may range between $1,000 and $2,000, while both eyelids may run higher than $3,000 depending on the patient. Another variable is the amount of drooping that is observed, since more drooping may mean more fatty tissue, skin and muscle to be removed. When the procedure takes more time, it also means higher costs for a facility and anesthesia. The complexity of the eyelid surgery may indicate higher physician fees as well.
The type of anesthesia used will also determine the cost of the eyelid surgery. Some patients can go into surgery with a local anesthetic, which reduces the costs of the anesthesiologist considerably. It may also reduce the amount of time that the patient must remain in the surgical facility, cutting costs even further. If a general anesthesia is used, the patient will usually require a number of hours after the procedure before being released. An anesthesiologist must also be present during the surgery when a general is used. Anesthesia costs may average between $400 and $600, depending on these factors.
The location will also affect the total eyelid surgery cost. Most doctors perform this procedure in a surgical clinic or outpatient facility, which tends to cost less than a hospital. However, the timing of the procedure and recovery can vary greatly from patient to patient, which creates a wide range in surgical facility costs. The expense may be as little as $500 for a single eyelid treatment, while a double blepharoplasty may cost as much as $1000 for the facility.
The area of the country where the treatment is performed also affects the cost of the eyelid surgery. East coast doctors tend to charge more, while doctors in the Mid Atlantic states and central states may charge less. Urban areas are also likely to cost more than rural clinics, although this is a general rule.
Experienced doctors often charge higher fees for eyelid surgery. However, this is not a place to cut costs with your procedure. Because of the sensitive area that is worked on during a blepharoplasty, a patient should choose a doctor who is board certified and highly skilled in the procedure. While this may mean a higher physician's fee, the favorable outcome will override the additional cost.
Financing Eyelid Surgery
As previously mentioned, many eyelid surgeries are considered cosmetic procedures that are not covered by most insurance plans. Many cosmetic surgeons offer payment plans to make procedures more affordable and some finance companies specialize in loans for cosmetic surgery. If the drooping eyelids affect vision, a condition known as ptosis, insurance may consider a blepharoplasty a non-elective procedure and foot at least part of the bill for the patient.
To learn more about the cost of eyelid surgery in your area, you can arrange for a private consultation with one or more plastic surgeons who offer blepharoplasty procedures near you. Contact us today to get started!