Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in Australia. How much does upper eyelid surgery cost? How about lower eyelid surgery? What are the costs like when you combine the two into one procedure?

Fast Facts

  • An upper or lower blepharoplasty usually costs around $2,500 - $4,500 AUD with the combined (upper and lower) surgery usually costing between $4,500 – $8,000.
  • Blepharoplasty is usually performed as day surgery and can take one to two hours to complete.
  • Once you visit a surgeon for a consultation and obtain an idea of the costs of your eyelid surgery, you may want a second opinion from another surgeon before making a decision to go ahead.
  • Eyelid surgery is often combined with other facial cosmetic surgical procedures. Combining your blepharoplasty procedure with others will increase the cost, but may reduce the overall cost compared with having them separately.

Costs will vary according to the extent of work needed and the specific technique chosen by your surgeon. This article helps you understand the full costs of blepharoplasty in Australia.

Blepharoplasty is usually performed as day surgery and can take one to two hours to complete. It is a cosmetic surgical procedure, which removes excess fat, skin and muscle on the lower and upper eyelids to rejuvenate the area around the eyes. These procedures are sometimes referred to as lower and upper eyelid reductions. The best way to determine the exact cost of eyelid surgery is by visiting a surgeon who performs this procedure.

The Australian Medical Board Guidelines for advertising of regulated health services prevents medical service providers, including surgeons, from providing inexact information. Guidelines also discourage advertisements that provide a price and then list conditions or variables that can change that price. As each person and his or her requirements are different, it’s impossible for a surgeon to offer a specific cost for a cosmetic procedure on a website.

Once you visit a surgeon for a consultation and obtain an idea of the costs of your eyelid surgery, you may want a second opinion from another surgeon before making a decision to go ahead.

Eyelid surgery is often combined with other facial cosmetic surgical procedures. Combining your blepharoplasty procedure with others will increase the cost. Only a surgeon specialising in procedures for the face can give you an idea of what the exact cost will be.

What makes up the total costs of a blepharoplasty?

The total costs involved in eyelid surgery can be broken into a number of components:

  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Assistant surgeon’s fees
  • Anaesthetist’s fees
  • Hospital and theatre costs
  • Follow-up visits for a given period

As with most other cosmetic surgeries, associated blepharoplasty costs are given as one figure.

Almost all costs involved in eyelid surgery—whether for upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery or both—are dependent on how long the procedure is likely to take.

You can expect treatment costs to fall within the following ranges:

  • Cost of upper eyelid blepharoplasty – $2,500 – 4,500 (AUD)
  • Cost of lower eyelid blepharoplasty – $2,500 – 4,500 (AUD)
  • Cost of combined upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty – Between $4,500 – 8,000 (AUD)

GST must be added to all costs quoted.

Surgeons’ fees

A surgeon’s fee usually includes the cost of the procedure, including pre-operative and post-operative care. You do not need to pay extra for a specified number of follow-up visits or for follow-up visits during a given period. The size of the surgeon’s fee depends on the surgeon you choose. The wide range in fees reflects differences in a surgeon’s expertise in eyelid surgery, qualifications, experience, professional recognition and popularity. Geography counts, fees can vary depending on where the practice is located. Your surgeon should provide you with a detailed breakdown of costs at the initial consultation.

Because there are medical doctors who are not qualified in surgery performing these operations— often at a discounted price—make sure you choose a surgeon with the requisite training in surgery of the eyelids. Botched eyelid surgery can affect your eyes and vision. Besides the typical risks and complications involved in any surgery, eyelid surgery can lead to dry or watery eyes, bleeding behind the eyes, temporary impairment or blurred vision, loss of vision or even complete blindness.

In addition to the traditional surgical technique of removing excess fat, skin and muscle from your eyelids, some surgeons use laser-assisted techniques. The specific techniques your surgeon will employ will also influence the total cost.

Initial consultation fees

There will be an initial consultation fee when you first see a surgeon regarding blepharoplasty.

Consultation fees can range between $50 (AUD) and $500 (AUD), depending on the surgeon. If you see more than one surgeon—and you really should, before deciding on the best surgeon to use—you will have to pay a fee for each consultation.

Anaesthetist’s fee

Blepharoplasty is often performed under light sedation with a local anaesthetic. If your surgeon elects to use a general anaesthetic, you will need an anaesthetist. Fees for the anaesthetists depend on their qualifications. A GP attending you as an anaesthetist during blepharoplasty will likely cost much less than a qualified anaesthetist. Anaesthetists, like most other professional medical specialists, do not have a standard scale of fees. However, according to the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, the fee charged by an anaesthetist is determined by the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) number or the Relative Value Guide (RVG) number.

For cosmetic procedures the hourly charge for an anaesthetist is in the range of $600-650 AUD. Typically blepharoplasty takes one to two hours, depending on how much work is needed.

Why should you want a qualified anaesthetist? The anaesthetist keeps guard over your life and vital functions during the procedure. You want a qualified person who knows the ins and outs of anaesthesia, trouble shooting and potential risks to keep watch over you. As well as safety, your anaesthetist will be a factor in making sure of your comfort both during and after the procedure.

Hospital fees

Hospital fees vary significantly from facility to facility. The key element is operating theatre fees. Most hospitals charge on an hourly basis, covering theatre fees, accommodation and sundries. For an hour, hospital fees start at around $750 (AUD) and can have a wide variation, going thousands of dollars over this figure.

Usually blepharoplasty is performed as a day surgery. The cost usually quoted as hospital fees does not include an overnight stay.

Are costs of blepharoplasty covered by insurance?

Medicare reimbursements only cover the costs of medically necessary procedures. Medicare does not cover costs of cosmetic surgery. In most cases blepharoplasty is treated as a purely cosmetic procedure. If, however, extremely droopy upper eyelids impair your vision, there may be medical reimbursements.

Whether your private insurance fund covers costs of blepharoplasty depends on the type of cover you have. Some cover hospital fees and some other costs, depending on your policy. Whatever elements are not covered by private insurance will be out-of-pocket payments for you.

Before having any procedure, clarify with your insurance fund what exactly is covered and not covered.

We hope that this article gives you a better idea of the costs involved in lower and upper eyelid surgery. We welcome your comments on this article.

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