Is Eyelid Surgery Covered by Insurance? Answers to Top FAQs

Close-up of a patient's eyes before and after upper eyelid surgery.

“People ask me if I am feeling OK or if I am tired.” This is often the way a consultation starts for eyelid surgery. It’s understandable; how many times have you looked in the mirror in the morning and thought “I look tired” even though you just woke up? If this describes you, it might be time to think about eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty.

The other thing patients say all the time is “I feel this heavy weight on top of my eye”—which is really the excess eyelid skin hanging down. Sometimes it even lays on top of the lashes! All of these complaints are correctable with upper eyelid surgery.

And then on to the “baggage” below. The lower eyelids are one of the first areas to show aging. The signs range from just a mild tear trough concavity to bagginess in the tear trough and dark circles. If these are your issues—don’t go grabbing the tissues just yet—there is hope!

Upper Eyelid Surgery: the Gateway Procedure

Upper eyelid surgery is what I call the “Gateway Procedure”—because you do it and are happy and hooked—ready to do more! This is because it is not a hard procedure for you to undergo, and it doesn’t hurt afterward. It will require about a week of hiding out or working from home if possible—but it is totally doable. Since it doesn’t hurt, you will not require pain medicine, and you are able to sit at your desk and work—just keep the ZOOM video set to off!  Take a look at a patient’s before and after pictures below to see the terrific results we can achieve:

Close-up of a patient's eyes before and after upper eyelid surgery.

In some cases, you may also want to pair eyelid surgery with other facial rejuvenation procedures. We’ll discuss your faceliftdermal filler, and other options during your consultation and make a plan to help you achieve the youthful look you want. In the meantime, check out my related blog post, Facelift—Is It Time? to learn more about the signs you may be ready for a facelift.

Will Insurance Cover an Eyelid Lift?

There is a subset of patients that have such a large amount of skin weighing down the upper eyelid that it actually obstructs their peripheral vision. If this looks like it might be the case with you, we will work together with our optometrist (conveniently located next door to the office) to get your visual field studies. If it is truly impacting your vision—insurance will cover the procedure! Naturally, the lower eyelids are not obstructing vision and are not covered by insurance.

After we get the visual field test done and the test indicates your vision is diminished due to your upper eyelids, we can begin the process of obtaining approval from your insurance company. You will need to come into the office to have photographs taken that are uploaded with your medical records. When we get the approval, we will schedule your surgery.

We hope your insurance will cover the upper lids, and you can think about adding your lower eyelids to be done at the same time. This makes sense to have only one recuperation. Also, when both upper and lower eyelids are addressed at the same time, the whole eye area is rejuvenated as a facial unit. This is important for harmony in the outcome.

What Is the Best Treatment for Lower Eyelids?

The lower eyelids can have a number of things to consider:

  • Are there bags?
  • Is there a tear trough?
  • Is the skin crepey and wrinkled due to loss of elasticity?
  • Does the lower eyelid seem loose?

All of these questions need to be answered to determine the best type of lower eyelid treatment.

Tear Troughs

For the patients that are “innies”—with a concave lower orbit—sometimes filler can be added to the tear trough to camouflage it. But if it is more severe, adding filler to the tear trough only adds volume, which looks like puffiness in an area that is already puffy. In these cases, surgery is the answer to remove the excess fat and release the tear trough. This is a more permanent solution and also treats the problem, instead of just camouflaging it.

Crepey Skin

For crepey under-eye skin, some type of skincare program is normally suggested, along with resurfacing using a laser or chemical peel.

So again the answer to the lower lids is dependent on the diagnosis. When you have your consultation, this will be determined, so your treatment plan can be formulated.

What Is Eyelid Surgery Recovery Like?

The recovery from eyelid surgery is one of the easiest for many reasons, including the very minimal discomfort and the ability to carry on with daily activities while you are healing. If you have a desk job that you can do from home, you usually only need 2 days off. There will be sutures that are under surgical Steri-Strip™ tape. These stay on for the whole week to promote perfect healing. The bruising can be unpredictable after blepharoplasty, so having 10 to 14 days off the social grid is recommended.

Will I Have a Noticeable Blepharoplasty Scar?

The scar from eyelid surgery is almost invisible after a few months. In fact, sometimes even when I am wearing my “readers” that are the highest magnification, I cannot see the scar on my patients.

How Soon Can I Wear Makeup After Eyelid Surgery?

For those who usually wear eyeshadow or eyeliner—you will be able to see both. You can apply eyeshadow and liner after a week, and cover-up foundations can obscure the bruising if there is any.

Is It Worth Getting Eyelid Surgery?

The best compliment my patients can get after this procedure is when someone says to them, “You look good; what are you doing?” or “What are you doing to look so good?” The fact is—no one really knows you have done it—you look like yourself just better. And rested. And more alert. And this will make you happier. These are just a few reasons eyelid surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country, according to The Aesthetic Society.

Get Started With a Complimentary Consultation

If you are considering eyelid surgery, the best thing to do is schedule a virtual no-charge consultation at my practice, Aesthetica Surgery & Spa near Columbus, OH. You will send us photos to be evaluated, and if it looks like insurance may be an option, we will go over this process. And if not, you will be set up for one of our informative seminar consultations. You can request a consultation using our online form or call us at (614) 569-2649.

We look forward to helping you on this journey and know that you will be thrilled with how easy this whole operation is for you.

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