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Male Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Reviewed by Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD

Tired, puffy eyes affect both men and women, especially in today's fast-paced, 24-7 society. While getting better-quality sleep can make a difference, many of us opt for eyelid surgery to look younger and more refreshed, as well as compete for jobs against our younger — or at least younger-looking — counterparts.

Are You a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

If you are bothered by saggy eyelids and puffiness underneath your eyes, you may be a candidate for blepharoplasty. The first step is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience performing eyelid rejuvenation procedures. He or she will evaluate your eyes and skin quality, listen to your cosmetic goals and tell you whether eyelid surgery is appropriate. In general, you must be in good overall health to be a candidate for this or any elective cosmetic surgery.

Your surgeon will also give you a thorough list of pre-operative instructions. These typically include avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen and certain herbal therapies for a pre-specified time before your eyelid surgery. These medications can increase risk of bleeding, which may be higher in men than women due to the thickness of male skin. Other instructions may include avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke).

Before scheduling your surgery, view before-and-after photos of other men who have undergone blepharoplasty with the same surgeon. These will give so you a realistic idea of what the surgery can, and cannot, do for you. For example, eyelid surgery can reduce eyelid sagging and bags underneath the eyes, but it can't get rid of dark circles, fine lines or crow's feet.

The actual surgery is similar for both men and women. Eyelid surgery will be tailored to address your aesthetic concerns. In general, most men focus solely on their lower eyelids. Removal of skin in the upper eyelid area can make a face look more feminine.

That said, if a man has concerns about his upper eyelid area, raising the brow with a browlift or skilled use of injectables can allow him to look more refreshed in the eye area, without overly femininizing his face. Botox, Dysport or Xeomin, and/or use of hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, can temporarily eliminate fine lines and crow's feet.

There are differences between men and women that affect healing and recovery. For starters, male facial skin is thicker than women's. This means that swelling may last longer. Men may be more likely to experience excessive bleeding during and after their eyelid surgery because of their thicker skin. They are also at higher risk for developing a hematoma (blood pooling that may clot outside a blood vessel). Make sure to ask your surgeon if there are any other special considerations for men undergoing eyelid surgery.

Male Eyelid Surgery Cost

The total cost for upper and lower blepharoplasty is about $4,000. Total cost for just lower lid surgery is about $2,500. These costs tend to be higher in cities because surgeons there are in greater demand, and because real estate and overhead are pricier. Insurance will not cover purely cosmetic eyelid surgery. If, however, a drooping eyelid, affects your vision, or if you have another medical condition, your insurer may cover some or all of the cost. Ask your insurer about coverage in advance so there are no surprises after your surgery. Financing plans may be available if the cost of your eyelid surgery is prohibitive.

Choosing a Male Blepharoplasty Surgeon

By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience treating the aging male face, and following his or her pre- and post-operative instructions carefully, you are more likely to be satisfied with the results of your eyelid surgery. Start your search for a local surgeon here.