Oculoplastic Surgery: Medically Necessary or Cosmetic?
- Posted on: Nov 24 2014
Oculoplastic surgery is the corrective and reconstructive surgery of the
eyelids; tear ducts and orbit of the eye. This type of eye surgery is
performed on patients when there are cosmetic issues that may be affecting
the eye or even vision itself.
Oculoplastic surgery is not always considered medically necessary, though there are many conditions
for which treatment by oculoplastic surgery is necessary and not simply cosmetic.
Conditions in which oculoplastic surgery is considered medically necessary
Ptosis:Drooping of the upper eyelid caused by aging, contact lens wear, injury
and sometimes cataract or other eye surgeries. If the condition interferes
with vision, oculoplastic surgery to correct the drooping eyelid is considered
Entropion:A condition in which the upper or lower eyelid turns inward, causing the
skin and eyelashes to rub against the eye. May result in redness, irritation,
excess tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, foreign bodies
in the eye and decreased vision.
Ectropion: A condition in which the lower eyelid sags and turns out, resulting in
exposure of the eyeball. This condition may be caused by aging, injury,
eyelid growths or facial paralysis. It may cause tearing, redness, crusting
of the eyelid, mucous discharge, irritation, decreased vision and scarring
of the cornea.
Eyelid growths: Growths on the eyelid or face may be benign, but they can also be malignant.
Your doctor will determine if it is medically necessary to remove a growth
on the eyelid.
Blockage of the tear duct: This condition may appear at birth or as a result of injury, disease or
infection. Symptoms of tear duct problems include pain, chronic tearing,
crusting and watering or discharge. If surgery is required, a new “bypass”
route may be constructed to connect the upper tear ducts to the nose for
drainage of tears.
Reconstructive surgery: Following injury, burns or birth defects, reconstructive surgery of the
eyelid or repair of fractures in the orbital bone may be necessary.
Conditions in which oculoplastic surgery may not be considered medically necessary
Blepharoplasty:This procedure corrects excessive skin on the upper or lower eyelids and
bags or extra fat above and below the eyes.
Brow ptosis: A drooping eyebrow may or may not interfere with vision. If it does, surgery
to correct the condition would be considered medically necessary. Otherwise,
correction of a drooping eyebrow is cosmetic.
Frown lines: Another cosmetic eyelid surgery available is
Botox® Cosmetic surgery to treat frown lines between your eyebrows that can leave you looking
tired or upset.
LATISSE® is not an eyelid surgery, but is another type of cosmetic eye treatment.
It is the only prescription treatment approved by the FDA for treatment
inadequate eyelash growth. Once-a-day treatment with LATISSE makes eyelashes
grow fuller and darker over time.
Whether you are in need of oculoplastic surgery that has been determined
to be medically necessary, or whether your surgery is cosmetic, trust
your eyes to the care of an experienced oculoplastic surgeon at Key-Whitman.
Your eyes are the most delicate part of your body. For any
treatment involving your eyes, you want a doctor who is specially trained in caring
for the eye and surrounding tissues.