When is Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery Medically Necessary?


In recent years the blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, has become a common procedure for those hoping to regain a more youthful look. It is often done as a part of a larger face lift procedure, but can also be done independently. Blepharoplasty is also a medical procedure which may be covered by insurance under some circumstances.


The blepharoplasty is actually made up of two separate parts, as there are two eyelids for each eye. You can have an upper eyelid lift or a lower eyelid lift.

The upper blepharoplasty is used to lift drooping eyelids that may be obstructing your vision or causing deep wrinkles at the corners of your eyes.

Meanwhile the lower blepharoplasty reduces puffiness and the appearance of sunken eyes.

The procedure is most common in patients over the age of 35, but can be done on younger patients if it is demonstrated that their vision is impaired by their eyelids.


If your eyelids have begun to impair your field of vision, a blepharoplasty may be a suitable treatment.

For insurance purposes, you will need to prove that your vision is truly impaired by drooping eyelids by completing a visual field exam. This exam must be administered by an ophthalmologist or an oculoplastic surgeon, as opposed to your regular plastic surgeon. This ensures the accuracy of the results and the ophthalmologist will prescribe the blepharoplasty as part of a larger treatment plan to restore your vision.

For the most part, the blepharoplasty is considered an optional cosmetic procedure. However, if you are able to take a visual field exam with your ophthalmologist that clearly demonstrates the eyelids as the cause of vision impairment, it can be deemed medically necessary.

Your ophthalmologist will likely try several other treatment options prior to surgery, or will combine surgery with other treatments to achieve the best possible results. Be prepared to submit copies of your visual field exam to your insurance provider along with other information to prove the medical necessity of your operation.


At Shumway Cosmetic Surgery, we offer upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures for both medical and cosmetic purposes. Dr. Shumway and his team will conduct a one-on-one consultation to determine which procedures fit your needs, and may send you for a visual field exam if there is a chance that your eyelids are obstructing your vision.

* All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.