Getting The Natural Look in Male Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift) Surgery

The eyes are the focal point of the face, at least in everyday conversation, and a more youthful appearance contributes substantially to the impression a person makes. Bags beneath the eyes, wrinkled and drooping layers of skin on the eyelids, and sagging eyebrows give the entire face a perpetually tired and sad expression.

Blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck) for men has become increasingly popular and is the second most frequently performed male cosmetic procedure, surpassed only by liposuction. It can provide tremendous benefit to a man’s appearance as it corrects sagging upper eyelids and puffy bags underneath the eyes. The procedure can also correct vision impairment caused by saggy skin on the upper eyelids.

While the surgical technique for cosmetic eyelid lift surgery on a man is fundamentally the same as that used on a woman, there are several different considerations. It is important that men retain their masculine image rather than the more stereotypical feminine result. A quick search of celebrity photos on the internet or magazines will reveal whom sought out a plastic surgeon than understood this difference. (Kenny Rogers, Bruce Jenner, Gary Busey to name a few) Poorly performed eyelid tucks that give a man a wide-eyed open appearance will quickly find that celebrity’s pictures’s on many websites that portray poor plastic surgery results.

In general, most men are seeking a more conservative (less obvious) change. Like women, men want their results to appear natural. But there is a gender difference in what is considered a natural result. While most women want a very clean eyelid look with smooth skin, such a look in a man will look ‘done.’ Too much eyelid skin removal in a man will create the appearance of having had plastic surgery and, in some cases, can just look plain bizarre. It is quite acceptable for a man to retain a little extra skin and a few wrinkles on the eyelids after surgery.

Patients are always understandable concerned about whether incisions or scars will be visible after surgery. The key to a non-visible male eyelid tuck scar is proper placement. This is especially important given that men can not wear make-up to hide any scars. Knowing that a man’s natural upper eyelid crease is lower than a woman’s helps put it in the best place so no scar can be seen after surgery.

Besides an eyelid tuck to make the eyes look less tired, there is also the consideration of low hanging brows and the potential need for a browlift as well. The classic handsome male brow is full, low and horizontal while a female brow can vary from full to thin but almost always has some degree of an arch to it. In my opinion, few men cosmetically benefit by a browlift, and there are too many browlifts done in men. A browlift in a man, where the brow gets elevated to an unnaturally high position and now has an unnatural arch to it as well, is the main reason men can look peculiar after such surgery. If a browlift is needed or wanted, the approach should be that less is more.

Men should not fear blepharoplasty surgery as it can make a real difference in their appearance. The key to a natural result is that the man’s features should be preserved during eyelid tucks as well as to not over-correct or remove too much skin. As men age, their eyelids will differ from those of their youth and blepharoplasty for men should appreciate this subtle difference.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana