I am 20 years old and have very puffy undereye bags.I have been concious of my bags since I was about 13.I often do not leave the house because my eyes are puffy, i avoid seeing people in daylight because i dont want them to see my puffy eyes. I rarely allow my photo to be taken because of my bags and i spend nearly all of my money on makeup and creams for my eyes (that still do not hide them).Am i entitled to a blepharoplasty in the nhs?Is this a sufficient amount of mental stress?
Am I Entitled to Blepharoplasty on the Nhs?
Doctor Answers 3
It is very unlikely.
Some EU countries have more generous policies regarding cosmetic surgery than does the NHS. Generally the NHS will pay for reconstructive surgery, and surgery to correct congenital abnormalities. For eyelid surgery, the issue needs to affect vision. Psychological concerns has been a basis for getting cosmetic surgery in certain EU countries but as a rule has not been a big consideration in the UK. So it is most likely that the NHS would view your concerns as purely cosmetic and not a covered benefit.
Am I Entitled to Blepharoplasty on the NHS?
Dear Marla, Based on your age and your concerns you are potentially a candidate for blepharoplasty. Whether the National Health Service will consider it something they will cover, I can't say. I would recommend that you seek a local plastic surgeon to address this question. The majority of the surgeons on RealSelf seem to be from the US and Latin America and thus don't have more than a superficial understanding of NHS policies. I wish you the best.
Stephen Weber, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon
Though I do not discount the possibility that you have very puffy or baggy eyelids at such a young age [it can be hereditary], your reaction to the puffiness seems to be a bit outside the normal.
I'm not sure what your mean by NHS, but although it is safe to perform blepharoplasty on a patient as young as yourself, your behavior in response to your problem is somewhat concerning, and I personally would not perform surgery on you unless we had an evaluation with a mental health professional to discuss your psychosocial response to your problem. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but getting surgery done is a big step, even for patients that are much older, and our job as plastic/cosmetic surgeons is be able decide whether a patient is emotionally/mentally healthy to have a surgery.
I would also recommend discussing your feelings with your family and friends as well. They can be very helpful and supportive in this decision making process.