Eyelid correction for almost nothing at the GP: ‘But not without risks’ | RTL News

400 or 995 euros

By RTL News·9 minutes ago·Modified: 0 minutes ago

© ANP / Sabine Joosten / Hollands Hoogt

RTL News

Would you like to have your eyelid correction done by your GP for next to nothing? They are very popular and can be had from €400, but you are not sure what a good deal it is. Ophthalmologists encounter crooked scars or eyes that can no longer close properly. Inspection warns.

Always looking tired? Droopy eyelids due to aging? Through a few simple incisions, any doctor in the Netherlands can remove excess skin above the eyelids.

“Start after course”

In recent years, according to plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists, there has been a proliferation of practitioners performing eyelid corrections. “Basic doctors, who have just finished medical school, are taken directly from school and start working after the course,” ophthalmologist Dion Paredense, who specializes in eyelid corrections, told RTL News.

Paridaens works at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and sees every day the consequences of allowing “everyone” to have eyelid corrections. “The cut is so low in the eyelid, others are no longer able to completely close their eyes or walk with a crooked or visible scar,” he explains.

The Dutch Society of Plastic Surgery (NVPC) agrees with Paredens’ story. Chairman Bert Van Drunen: “You can really teach anyone how to work. Of course there are people who can do it well, but the problem is there is no control.” Van Drunen also sees people with a “misaligned scar” or patients who have had too much skin removed.

Sometimes even helpless

Mistakes can also be more serious. “Patients sometimes return with blurred vision or dry eyes. In rare cases, people are rendered incapacitated by eyelid correction,” Paredence says.

The ophthalmologist, who has so far performed 35,000 operations, tries to correct the mistakes made by others, but it is not that easy. “Something often goes wrong because doctors don’t have enough knowledge or training.”

Anyone who wants eyelid correction can go to dozens of places in the Netherlands. It is not clear exactly how much. There are more than 130 clinics on comparison sites, and prices range from around 400 to 995 euros.

different prices

Some clinics go further and charge different prices depending on the experience of the doctor performing the procedure. Eyelid correction Wesland Clinic Costs, for example, 495 euros if the patient chooses a plastic surgeon. Anyone who wants to be treated by a plastic surgeon pays almost double: 865 euros.

“This is an ongoing problem,” says Bert van Drunen, Chairman of the NVPC Board of Directors. “It is of course a very strange situation to have quality become dependent on price.”

Van Drunen has campaigned for years to keep surgeries away from other medical professions. “After training to become basic doctors, we continued studying for six years, and plastic surgeons only two years,” he says.

“More expensive with a plastic surgeon”

Faceland Clinic tells RTL News that the higher price is due to the difference in the doctor’s training. “Operations that can be performed by a plastic surgeon and plastic surgeon will always be more expensive with a plastic surgeon,” says a clinic spokesperson.

Successful eyelid correction, to illustrate.© National Ports Agency
Successful eyelid correction, to illustrate.

“It is true that any primary care doctor with a so-called BIG registration can carry out this procedure,” says a spokesman for the Health and Young People’s Inspectorate (IGJ). They have to be “competent,” but there is no test for that. “It is up to the doctor himself to prove it.” how? There is no guideline for this.

“Ask about work experience”

An inspectorate spokesman admits: “We recognize that it is difficult for patients to know whether a healthcare provider is qualified to carry out this treatment.”

“For example, a patient can ask about practical experience, education and patient satisfaction. In general, we would like to advise them: Do not be guided only by the price of such a procedure and carefully inform who is performing the treatment.”

The Netherlands Patient Association is disappointed by the lack of public information about the quality of different healthcare providers. “We know that the differences between healthcare providers in the Netherlands can be significant. But for patients, this is a black box. In high schools, pass rates are general and comparable to each other, but in healthcare, you as a patient cannot do that.” “See how well your healthcare provider is treating a patient with other healthcare providers,” says a company spokesperson.

Therefore, the organization can only advise people who want to undergo eyelid correction to listen carefully. “Ask people around you about their experiences at a particular clinic, contact fellow sufferers and check with your GP if they can refer you to a suitable doctor,” the spokesperson suggests.

Increasingly popular

It is not clear how many people have eyelid surgery each year. Health insurance companies in the Netherlands and the Healthcare Institute, which is responsible for healthcare in the Netherlands, do not have figures. Furthermore, only a very small portion of eyelid correction surgeries are covered by health insurance. “Approximately 90 percent of patients pay for the procedure themselves,” explains plastic surgeon Van Drunen. The procedure will only be compensated if the eyelid is hanging above the pupil.

It is clear that this procedure has become increasingly popular in recent years. Eye Hospital Rotterdam says it has been so busy with requests in recent months “that it has become difficult to schedule operations.” Compared to last year, the number of eyelid correction surgeries reimbursed by insurance has doubled, but there are no available figures for the number of cosmetic surgeries.

Eyelid corrections are not part of a general practitioner’s core offer, says a spokesman for the Dutch Association of General Practitioners (NHG). “In practice, there are general doctors who, in addition to their normal work, perform certain procedures, such as eyelid corrections. They have become skilled at this, for example, through previous training or other education.”

“Some reports per year”

There are hardly any reports of problems with eyelid corrections during examination. “It’s about one report per year,” says the spokesperson.

Van Drunen and Paredens’ experiences show that although the number of reports has decreased, problems still exist. “If people are not satisfied with the result of treatment, it does not immediately mean that the Inspectorate will start an investigation into the quality of care,” explains the Inspectorate spokesman. “It may also be that the patient had very high expectations.”

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