Long Island, NY – Sufferers of Bell’s Palsy often require facial reanimation surgery, but that procedure isn’t always covered by insurance.
Bell’s Palsy is a nerve condition that causes full or partial facial paralysis.
The condition was named after sir Charles Bell, a 19th century Scottish surgeon, and is caused by damage to (or inflammation of) the seventh cranial nerve.
The seventh cranial, or facial, nerve is responsible for the motor functions of the face. Patients suffering from Bell’s Palsy experience a drooping of the facial muscles and, in some cases, dry eyes and mouth, headache and the inability to close one eye, along with other symptoms.
Dr. Roger L. Simpson, the director of the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group Center for Facial Paralysis, has a lot of experience working with Bell’s Palsy sufferers.
The New York plastic and reconstructive surgeon says that many patients are thrilled when they first learn of facial reanimation surgery, the leading treatment for Bell’s Palsy, but then their mood shifts when they learn that Bell’s Palsy treatment might not be covered by insurance.
“While facial paralysis is a medical condition, many of the top insurance companies view facial reanimation surgery as cosmetic in nature, not medical,” said Dr. Simpson.
Dr. Simpson advises patients to contact their insurance company to learn more about their coverage. He also says that patients should work with their doctors to educate the insurance companies on the necessity of treatment.
While less extreme cases may not be covered, Dr. Simpson says he has yet to see an insurance provider deny coverage for a profound facial nerve injury. These severe cases can cause a person to lose total control of their facial muscles, making speech and eating extremely difficult. Facial reanimation surgery would then help to restore the patient’s quality of life.
Dr. Simpson hopes that all insurance companies will realize the importance of nerve grafting, muscle transfer and facial reanimation surgery as Bell’s Palsy treatments. The more severe the case, the more likely it is that insurance companies will cover the treatment, said Dr. Simpson.
To learn more about Bell’s Palsy causes or treatment, visit the website of the Long Island Surgical Group at https://www.lipsg.com/.
About Us: For over 65 years, Long Island Surgical Group has been at the forefront of facial paralysis treatment, reanimation surgery and research. The practice helps patients who have suffered trauma, disease, infection, stroke, and other facial paralysis afflictions.
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