At What Point Does Insurance Generally Pay for Eyelid Ptosis Repair?

My lid just keeps on drooping. Already did standard upper and lower bleph surgery (w/ Kaiser), which helped for a couple of years. There is a clear 1/8" difference between the two eyelids. It may even be more since I'm sure I overcompensate to keep the eye open. My bleph was six years ago. Now that I know it's a ptosis instead of just sagging tissue, I know that insurance sometimes covers. What is the insurance company standard for coverage? I still have Kaiser.

Doctor Answers 5

There is no general agreement about this.

Dear in Concord

I would advise that you get a referral to the oculoplastic surgeon at Kiaser to be assessed.  Kaiser surgeons have total discretion regarding when they operate, they are not bound by a fixed rule.  They will not perform cosmetic surgery unless you self pay but the line between medically necessary and cosmetic for this type of issue is not set in stone.  Good luck.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Insurance coverage

For your situation, you may be able to get it covered because your vision is impaired. Please ask your insurance provider directly.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Insurance Generally Pay for Eyelid Ptosis Repair

See a oculoplastic surgeon and get a visual fields test, lid retraction exam and photos taped and un taped sent to the insurer. Than you can see if the surgery is covered. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Insurance and ptosis

If you have visual field deficits perhaps the insurance company will cover your ptosis repair. But you have to check with your insurance company.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Eyelid ptosis

The criteria for eyelid ptosis repair vary from insurance carrier to insurance carrier.  With Kaiser, you need to ask them directly what their criteria are.  Then see their oculofacial plastic surgeon.  What the surgeon will be looking for is the degree of lid ptosis and if it is interfering substantially with your peripheral vision.  This is documented with photos and visual fields.  However, if the oculofacial plastic surgeon determines that it is a minor assymetry and not a functional deficit, then no functional surgery will be performed. 

For any insurance to cover the ptosis repair, it must be causing a significant functional deficit and impairing your vision.


Kathleen Archer MD

Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Houston, TX

Kathleen F. Archer, MD
Houston Oculoplastic Surgeon

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.