How Much Does Orbital Decompression Surgery Cost?
Orbital decompression is a surgical procedure meant to improve the condition of an eye, or both eyes, that protrudes from its sockets. When the eye socket is damaged or compressed, it can cause painful headaches and stress on the upper facial cavities and force the eye to bulge. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can also inhibit the person’s vision.
The eye socket, called orbit, is that space inside your skull consisting of the four bony walls, such as the roof, floor, and the two side walls. It houses all the contents of the eye. When a person contracts a condition called Graves Disease, a form of hyperthyroidism, where his immune system fails to function the way it should, he will most likely require an orbital decompression surgery.
How much does it cost?
- Without insurance, plan on budgeting anywhere from $4,000 to as much as $7,200 for orbital decompression surgery. One of the biggest reasons for the price difference is usually the surgeon and geographical location.
- For those that have health insurance, most policies will cover a portion and you should only be responsible for your deductibles and co-pays. With any insurance related costs, it is always best to check with your provider. For those that are looking for a new policy, consider browsing through hundreds for free at eHealthInsurance.com.
- Someone shared at an online forum on Medhelp.org that his orbital decompression surgery cost around $6,500.
- Dr. Barry L. Eppley shared on an online forum at Realself.com that an orbital decompression of just one eye for protrusion by orbital floor lowering costs around $4,500 to $6,000. While this is only one specific procedure done, the price range will be comparable for the other procedures.
What is going to be included?
- Before going through the surgery, you need to have a comprehensive discussion with your surgeon regarding the risks involved, the benefits of the surgery, and the alternatives to orbital decompression.
- During the procedure, the bones of the eye socket will be expanded to allow the eye to fall back. If double vision is noticed, a muscle surgery will follow. Lastly, the eyelids will be lowered for cosmetic purposes. To learn more about this procedure, view this Medscape.com page.
- Orbital decompression is classified into three types, namely:
- Elimination of bone from one or more walls of the orbit
- Taking out of the orbital fat, including the intraconal fat
- A combination of bony and fat removal
- The surgery usually takes around two hours to perform with general anesthesia and an overnight stay at the hospital.
What are the extra costs?
- You should expect to spend some extra money for your post-operative care, such as antibiotics to minimize swelling and to prevent infection as well as other medications.
- You also have to adjust your diet, incorporating more fruits into your daily food consumption in order to avoid constipation.
- You must go back to your doctor a week after the surgery for follow up check and removal of the sutures. The doctor will probably want to see you a couple months after the surgery to confirm that everything is healing well and that there are no negative side effects.
- You might also need rehabilitative surgery for double vision and lid problem if these were unable to be fixed during the surgery. In some cases, these problems may have been worsened by the surgery.
- The surgeon’s and the anesthesiologist’s professional fees are not included in the costs mentioned above.
Factors that influence the price:
- The procedure involves so many factors, such as regional and country differences and forms of orbital decompression surgery. It is best to discuss the matter with your surgeon and your insurance company.
- The cost of surgery depends on the type of surgeon performing the surgery, and the extent of the procedure.
Tips to know:
- The primary purpose of an orbital decompression is to make more room in the orbit, allowing the eye to take to its normal position.
- While orbital decompression has recorded a high success rate, a patient may still need to undergo further surgery to correct vision problems, and/or to tighten loose skin around his eye sockets and eyelids.
Questions to ask
- Is there an alternative to orbital decompression surgery?
- How long will it take before the swelling subsides after the operation?
- At what stage is an orbital decompression performed?
- What are the risks involved in the procedure?
How can I save money?
- Health insurance usually covers orbital decompression surgery as long as it is deemed medically necessary.
- Consult with the appropriate doctor about the entire procedure and ask how much it will cost you. There are different types of surgeons who can perform orbital decompressions, such as orbital surgeons, Maxillo-facial surgeons, plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons, and neurosurgeons. These professionals charge varied professional fees.
- Even if you cannot afford to pay the surgeon in full, ask about cash discounts if your insurance will not cover it. Hospitals will usually offer payment plans as well.