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How Much Is Under Eye Surgery

by Lyndon Langley
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How Much Is Under Eye Surgery

How Much Is Under Eye Surgery

You may have heard a few things about under eye plastic surgery — that it’s painful, expensive and you’ll never be able to look at yourself in the mirror again once they’re done. But is all this true?
In most cases, yes. However, if you’ve been doing some research on the topic recently, you might also have come across articles saying that cosmetic procedures for the eyes aren’t nearly as costly as many people think. So what gives? How can these contradictory statements exist simultaneously?

Well, first off, let us dispel one myth right away: The pain associated with under eye surgery isn’t really any worse than having an ordinary wisdom tooth pulled. (It’s actually less.) And while your vision won’t return post-surgery, neither will it be permanently impaired after undergoing a blepharoplasty or similar procedure. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, only 1 percent of patients who undergo such surgeries end up being dissatisfied with their results.

Now, if you’re considering getting an operation like this, here are some numbers you should know: On average, the total costs of under eye surgery run between $2,700 and $3,200 per session. This doesn’t even take into account any pre- and postoperative care that may be required, which could add another thousand dollars or so onto the bill.

If we break down the costs further, we find that roughly $1,600 goes toward the surgeon’s fee alone, while the remaining amount covers everything from the operating room to medications and supplies. Of course, the final figure depends largely on whether you choose to stay overnight in the hospital following the surgery; this adds an extra $500 to the overall expense. If you elect to leave earlier, however, the doctor charges more money for the same thing.

So far, we’ve discussed how much money you can expect to pay for your surgery upfront. What about the rest? You might wonder about insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses. We’ll get to those later. First, though, consider the big picture: Why exactly do people opt to get operations like these, and why don’t they just wait until something bad happens instead?

Under eye bags and sagging lids cause unsightly wrinkles and creases. They can make you appear older, tired or dull. Although this problem often develops gradually over time, sometimes it occurs suddenly due to injury or illness. Even minor accidents involving the face, such as falling down stairs or bumping into someone walking through a door, can contribute to under eye bags or droopy eyelids. A good plastic surgeon can help reverse the effects of aging by removing excess fat and tightening the surrounding tissues. He or she can also improve the appearance of your eyes by filling in small depressions around them, reshaping the upper lid and narrowing the lower lid.

As the number of cosmetic procedures performed annually continues to rise, so does demand for qualified surgeons capable of performing complex procedures safely. To meet this need, the American Board of Medical Specialties established standards regarding training and certification. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has its own set of guidelines, too. Both groups recognize the importance of education and training when selecting a professional to perform cosmetic work on your body. As part of the process, prospective patients should interview several doctors before settling on one. When choosing a plastic surgeon, ask about his or her educational background, experience, patient satisfaction rate and success rates.

Cosmetic Procedures Cost Breakdown

Insurance Coverage
Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Cosmetic Procedures Cost Breakdown

Now that we understand the general costs involved in under eye surgery, let’s explore the breakdown in greater detail. Here’s a quick summary of the various fees you’ll encounter during the different phases of the process:

Initial consultation/examination – Usually priced anywhere from $75 to $125

Preparation – During this period, your surgeon makes sure he or she understands your specific needs and determines a treatment plan

Treatment – Your actual surgery, usually priced between $800 and $1,000

Recovery – Any necessary follow-up treatments, including stitches, swelling reduction and scar removal

Follow-up examinations – Typically billed every three months after surgery for a year or two

Cosmetic surgery is not cheap, but it’s certainly affordable. For example, the average outpatient surgical facility charges somewhere between $300 and $400 per hour, depending on where you live. With proper planning, you should be able to afford under eye surgery without incurring major financial burdens.

Next, learn about insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.

About Insurance
When it comes to paying for cosmetic procedures, health insurance typically plays a large role in covering the costs. While many employees purchase private insurance policies specifically designed to cover certain procedures, others rely completely on group plans provided by employers.
Most health insurance companies offer limited coverage for cosmetic procedures. Depending on the type of policy, limits range from 10 percent to 25 percent of the base amount charged for each procedure. Some insurance providers offer discounts for patients who require multiple sessions, and others provide partial coverage for services rendered outside of office visits. Before signing on the dotted line, check your company’s health benefits handbook to see what types of procedures are covered.

Another way to save money is to shop around for the best prices. If you want to compare prices for the same procedure at different facilities, use PriceGrabber or http://www.medicine.com. Other sites such as Healthfinder.gov and BestPlasticSurgeon.org also list information on physicians’ qualifications and pricing structures. Many hospitals allow patients to visit for free and consult with specialists without charging anything. If this option appeals to you, contact the hospital directly to determine your eligibility.

There are still ways to cut costs, however. For instance, you can negotiate with your provider to receive a discount. Ask about payment plans. Also, keep in mind that some insurers refuse to reimburse patients for noninvasive procedures like laser hair removal, Botox injections or chemical peels unless they qualify as medically necessary. Finally, remember that cosmetic procedures are rarely covered by

Medicare or Medicaid.
We now know that under eye surgery is pricey, but how much is it really? Read on to find out.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in 2008 were breast augmentation (a boost), liposuction (removal of subcutaneous fatty tissue) and rhytidectomy (facelift).  Women accounted for 61 percent of all cosmetic procedures. Men received the next highest percentage of procedures, at 23 percent.

Insurance Coverage
For many Americans, it’s easy enough to obtain insurance. It’s harder for those who are self-employed or whose jobs don’t fall into one of these categories. Still, many individuals manage to secure coverage simply by showing proof of income.

Before purchasing an individual policy, find out if your employer offers a plan that includes cosmetic procedures. If you’re unsure, ask your human resources representative. Most businesses with employee populations larger than 50 people already have plans that include a variety of procedures.
Of course, no matter what kind of coverage you’re eligible for, you must read the fine print carefully. Check to see if your insurer charges higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions. Also, verify that you can continue insurance after undergoing a cosmetic procedure. Remember, if you go ahead with the operation anyway, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket.

Let’s say you have dental insurance. Do you automatically qualify for cosmetic gum surgery? Not necessarily. Like other forms of insurance, dental insurance is based on the concept of risk. Since cosmetic procedures involve a high level of unpredictability, it’s possible that your insurer would reject coverage outright.

That said, dentists sometimes apply for special approval for cosmetic procedures. Sometimes this involves additional paperwork and inspections, but this is not always the case. If you’d like to pursue cosmetic dentistry, talk to your dentist about options. He or she can refer you to a specialist who specializes in treating this area.

What about out-of-pocket expenses?
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans spent more than $8 billion on medical care in 2007. That works out to more than $6,900 per person. About 40 percent of that went towards prescription drugs, 20 percent went toward ambulatory care and 17 percent was dedicated to hospital stays.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Even if you have insurance, you may incur out-of-pocket expenses if you decide to forego deductibles and co-payments. If you’re going to have plastic surgery, make an appointment with your insurance carrier beforehand. This allows you to discuss your choices with a member of the claims department. Then, you’ll have a chance to explain your situation, request coverage for any necessary expenses and schedule payments accordingly.

Once you’ve made arrangements with your insurer, you’ll probably have to shell out cash for a variety of services. Pre-authorization letters are likely to be needed for x-rays, lab tests, consultations and emergency room visits. Copays are generally required for physician appointments, prescriptions and

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