It is possible to have blepharoplasty funded by the National Health Service (NHS), but you should understand the requirements and qualifications you need to meet in order to receive help with payment for this procedure. Not every person will qualify for assistance. Consider this information as you look for an oculoplastic surgeon.
What Is a Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, helps improve drooping or hooded eyelids. This procedure removes the bags under your eyes to help you look more awake. The surgery removes excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids. It helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes.
Many times, the surgeon completes eyelid surgery in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures to create a more attractive appearance. For instance, they may combine a blepharoplasty with a facelift or chemical peel.
Who Can Get a Blepharoplasty?
Anyone who wants to get rid of eye bags or drooping eyelids can get a blepharoplasty if they are in good enough health to withstand surgery. Much of the time, the surgeon performs the procedure on older people since bags under the eyes and drooping eyelids are part of the aging process. Patients who are at least 35 years of age are the most likely candidates to receive this procedure.
Younger people may require eyelid surgery if they have drooping eyes to the extent that it affects their eyesight. In this situation, the drooping eyelid may obscure the eyes.
People with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and thyroid issues may not be suitable for the surgery. If you have dry eyes, glaucoma, or a detached retina, your doctor may recommend against a blepharoplasty.
Medical Conditions That Allow a Blepharoplasty to Qualify for Assistance From the NHS
The NHS doesn’t pay for cosmetic procedures most of the time. However, they may pay for blepharoplasty if the procedure is necessary because your eyesight is affected by drooping lids. You will need to meet a certain set of criteria to qualify.
An upper lid blepharoplasty may qualify for assistance with NHS if it is tied into another condition. However, the lower lid is not likely to meet the requirements since drooping lower lids don’t impact vision.
Thyroid eye disease can cause disfiguration and may require surgery to restore vision. A blepharoplasty may be part of the rehabilitation. A person with skin cancer may need to have their eyelid reconstructed after surgery to remove the growth. In these situations, the NHS is likely to approve the treatment.
Getting Help from the NHS
The NHS has limited money to help with medical procedures. To qualify for assistance, the procedure must be medically necessary for the physical or mental health of the patient.
If you want to receive help from the NHS, you will need to go to your GP about the drooping eyelid. If they decide you have a reason to get the procedure, they will refer you to a specialist. The plastic surgeon will conduct an examination to determine how a blepharoplasty would benefit your physical health, which in this case is your eyesight. The NHS may require photographs to prove that the procedure is medically necessary.
Choosing Your Oculoplastic Surgeon
When considering your blepharoplasty, do your research and find an experienced plastic surgeon. It’s best to go through your GP whether you qualify for help from the NHS or not. However, you can also have a surgeon in mind you want to use for your consultation.
Make sure your oculoplastic surgeon is trained in the latest techniques for plastic surgery. You can check the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website to find surgeons and treatment centres for eyelid surgery. Any clinic or hospital that provides this type of surgery is registered with the CQC. The CQC also produces reports and performance ratings to help you make an informed decision about your care. The surgeon must also be registered with the General Medical Council, where you will learn how many surgeries they have performed.
If you are interested in getting a blepharoplasty for your drooping eyelids, you need to work with your GP, especially if you want to have the procedure approved by the NHS.