Is my plastic surgery medical or cosmetic?

At the Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center, we’re proud to be able to serve patients who have so many different needs. One of the most frequent questions we hear from patients is about the difference between medical (functional) and cosmetic plastic surgery.

Medical (functional) and cosmetic plastic surgery are performed for different reasons.

Medical (functional) procedures are performed in order to restore your physical functions to full use. These types of surgeries commonly improve defects related to:

  • Eyelid malposition (droopy lids, lids that turn in or out)
  • Disease
  • Trauma
  • Birth disorders
  • Burns

For example, as many people age they experience droopy or puffy eyelids. When these eye conditions (for example, ptosis= droopy eyelid) physically block your sight, it becomes a medical issue. At that point, an eyelid lift is not considered a cosmetic procedure, but is medically indicated.

Here’s an example of an eyelid lift to treat ptosis:

Before:

After:

Cosmetic procedures, on the other hand, are focused on beautifying a patient’s features and improving your self-confidence.

To go back to our earlier example, if you have droopy or puffy eyelids but they don’t interfere with your vision—and you can still perform daily functions—an eyelid lift would be considered cosmetic.

Here’s an example of a cosmetic eyelid lift (blepharoplasty):

Before:

After:

Medical plastic surgery is generally covered by insurance, where cosmetic is not.

For most patients, cost is a big question. The difference between medical and cosmetic procedures matters most when it comes to insurance coverage.

In general, insurance covers medically-necessary procedures to restore function. Depending on your insurance plan, you may still be responsible for a portion of the cost.

Insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures and patients are responsible for the full cost. For your convenience, the Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center works with Alphaeon Credit to help our patients finance their cosmetic procedures.

Whether your procedure is medical or cosmetic, we offer the same high quality, professional and friendly care. Our highly trained and experienced staff are ready to make you feel comfortable and safe in their hands!

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