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Anyone with Blepharoplasty surgery experience (eyelid surgery)?


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Posted (edited)

I have one eye that has a droopy eyelid from having shingles on my face years ago. The shingles caused nerve damage but I don't know if this can help get insurance to cover it or not. It is to the point that I can feel the droopy lid and that is really starting to bother me. It feels like I have something stuck on the outside corner of my eye, but I can't wipe the feeling away. I don't wear makeup, color my hair or do much to look pretty, but this is getting worse year by year and I think I am going to look disfigured at some point. 

I am thinking about getting a consult to have my situation evaluated. I don't really know where to start. Any advice would be appreciated. Feel free to PM me if you feel more comfortable. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure, but I think an ophthalmologist is the one you see for a referral to surgery as far as insurance purposes. You could call one and I'm sure if they are not the ones, they would tell you who you need to see. When the droopy eyelid starts interfering with vision, then it isn't considered cosmetic anymore as per insurance coverage, from what I understand (through in-laws' experiences). I'm pretty sure I will need it in a few years.

ETA: Sometimes it interferes with vision before a person realizes it is doing so.

Edited by Jaybee
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You need an ophthalmologist. DH was recently measured for it, but his droop isn’t quite enough yet. His droop is a complication of uveitis and the treatment for that. If you qualify (if the droop is significant enough and interferes with vision) it’s considered a medical issue and is usually covered by insurance. 

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I had ptosis surgery but they did a 'touch' of Blepharoplasty too (or the surgeon said he did that to make things look okay/even). 
For me, they had me look into a machine to check my peripheral vision (you have a clicker to push when you see lights, they come from a variety of sides/locations and converge on the middle) and then they taped my eyelids up and did the same test again. It was amazing what I could see with my eyelids up. Whatever the results were, insurance decided the surgery was medically necessary. I would encourage you to go to the eye surgeon to get evaluated. It was a shock to me how much I wasn't seeing. 

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I had it done on one eye and one the other had to have surgery for thyroid related exophthalmos (eye bulging). I did the both at the same time. 

Both were covered, they did the test that Bambam describes. The funny thing was that at first I passed it so it wasn’t going to be covered but then the eye doctor looked at me and said “Do it again and stop raising your forehead.” I hadn’t realized that I was basically walking around all the time using my forehead muscles to keep my eye open wider. When I relaxed my forehead I failed. 🙂

The surgery wasn’t that bad, especially on the eye that just had the ptosis. The other eye was a more involved surgery and was a little uncomfortable. Afterwards, I was surprised that I had to basically have ice packs on them and lie down for a full 24 hours. I could get up briefly to eat or go to the bathroom but he wanted me to mostly stay reclined with the ice packs. It wasn’t horrible, just boring since it was both eyes and I couldn’t see so couldn’t read or watch a movie or something. He hadn’t told me that ahead of time so I wasn’t prepared with something like audiobooks. I ended up listening to NPR all day.

Afterwards, my eyes were pretty bruised appearing for about a week. The surgeon had said something like “oh, sure you can go back to work the next day”. Which was true but I looked pretty shocking. And as a pediatrician, I had to do a lot of explaining to my patients about why I looked scary. I probably should have expected that but I didn’t and I think surgeons often downplay recovery. 

I was glad I did it. My doc was an opthomologist and plastic surgeon...he was a specialist in the thryoid condition which is why I went to him. 

I will say that now the ptosis is coming back. It’s been about 10 years since the surgery and I’ll probably have it again. I think it’s fairly common to have it again, but they don’t always tell  you that either. 

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