Would you go to an Ophthalmologist for a brow and eye lid surgery ? My insurance covers the surgery from this type doctor

Doctor Answers 11

Insurance for a particular type of surgeon

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Being from Alabama I can assure you that you have gotten the wrong information. Insurance does not cover a particular type of doctor , only a particular type of surgery. In fact the way it is determined if the procedure is covered is by a test that measures your visual field obstruction created by the loose skin and/or droopy brow. If your visual field reduction is 50% or greater, then Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will cover only one of the procedures; either the upper lid blepharoplasty or the brow lift, but not both. Occuloplastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and plastic surgeons all do this type of surgery , however, the brow is more commonly done by the latter two. Most surgeons now perform the browlift endoscopically so there is no need for scars on your brow for this type of surgery if you need it. Also the browlift is necessary in around 80% in my cases since once the brow is in the proper position the amount of excess skin in the upper lid is less.  Be sure the surgeon has a lot of experience in cosmetic surgery and is board certified.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Eye Doctor For Brow and Eyelid Surgery

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As mentioned on numerous previous answers, the insurance company doesn't cover surgery based on the doctor.  They base coverage based on type of surgery planned.  If you are going to have plastic surgery, why would you use anyone other than a plastic surgeon.  Typically coverage is based on symptoms, results of a "Peripheral Field Vision Test",  photos demonstrating the anatomy and planned procedure.  The test can be done by an optometrist, but the rest needs to be sent in by the plastic surgeon in the form of a letter to the insurance company. Choose your surgeon based on training and experience.  A plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery will have expertise in both Eyelid and Brow Lift and be able to explain which is best.  Most of my patients need a browlift rather than eyelid lift, many  people need both.  Browlifts are done endoscopically in the majority of cases so you need someone with experience in that procedure as well.

Randy Proffitt, MD
Mobile Plastic Surgeon

Who to go to for surgery

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Only If the ophthalmologist did a fellowship in oculoplastic surgery and specializes in this type of surgery.

Byron A. Long, MD
Marietta Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Selecting a surgeon for brows and eyelids

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You need to find a surgeon who has experience, and one you have confidence in to provide optimal results. Oculoplastic surgeons have background in ophthalmology and fellowship training in oculoplastic and reconstructive procedures including oculofacial cosmetic procedures. This gives them insight on ocular consequences of periocular surgery. General ophthalmologists typically don't have enough training and experience to provide this type of subspecialty surgery, and may provide a functional result, but not the best cosmetic results. Some general plastic surgeons focus on facial cosmetic procedures, but if you happen to have ptosis, you should seek an Oculoplastic surgeon. Insurance companies have arbitrary criteria for discerning cosmetic versus functional. Whether or not they cover will have nothing to do with your results - what will have an impact on results is your selection of a surgeon. You need to have a clear idea of what to expect from that surgeon. Be sure to understand risks, benefits, alternatives for brow lift, and get the answers to all your questions in advance. Every procedure has risks - you need to be assured that your surgeon will see you through the surgery and anything that might come up with the healing process. This is not a simple nip and tuck. Best wishes.

Sara A. Kaltreider, MD
Charlottesville Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


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Don't count on the insurance. However, if you see an ophthalmologist rather than a board certified plastic surgeon, see an ophthalmologist with specialty training in oculoplastic surgery.

I will go to a good surgeon

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If you want cosmetic surgery you need to choose a surgeon who is good at it. Choosing surgeon based on insurance is poor investment in yourself. Most good cosmetic plastic surgeons do not meddle with insurances. Invest in yourself.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Only if the ophthalmologist is fellowship trained in oculoplastic surgery.

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Beyond this extensive training, carefully look at what the surgeon actually does.  Does the website reflect that they do forehead lifts, do you like the surgical results you see, or is there something not to your likely about the work the surgeon does.  How does the surgeon propose to do the forehead lift.  What method will they be using to fixate the forehead flap.  Will surgery be done endoscopically (hidden incision) or will it be a direct forehead that will leave a permanent scar that is visible at your eyebrow or in the middle of the forehead.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Eyebrow and eyelid surgery

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It is very rare for medical insurance to cover a brow lift and eyelid surgery, since the majority of the time both of these procedures are performed for cosmetic purposes.  Choose your surgeon based on their before and after results in their photo gallery, NOT because they take your medical insurance.  Shop quality, not price since this is  your face.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Eye lid surgery

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Insurance companies today rarely cover the complete cost of eyelid surgery. It really depends on the diagnosis and the amount of vision impairment you demonstrate. You  must have significant upper lid ptosis and the doctor will need to agree to accept the insurance. I advise you to avoid a general ophthalmologist, and only see an oculoplastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon. You only have one pair of eye and you should always look for the best care and treatment.

James Shire, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Eyelid surgery

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If you have enough ptosis to get insurance to cover, see an oculoplastic surgeon who accepts your insurance.  They can do the testing needed to get approval from the insurance company.  An oculoplastic surgeon is an ophthalmologist with special training in eyelid surgery.  

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.