Eyelid Lift Surgery (Blepharoplasty) in San Francisco
Male eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is the second most common cosmetic plastic procedure after the most popular liposuction.
Men age well and the eyes tell so much about how we feel about ourselves and the world at large. Male blepharoplasty is very different from female eyelid surgery. The goal is to have a man look natural and masculine and not to over-resect the eyelid skin that will cause feminization of the eyelids.
Male Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery is a procedure in which excess skin and fat are removed from the upper and lower eyelids. Cosmetic Male Eyelid Surgery can correct drooping upper eyelids and remove puffy bags from below the eyes. These features make a person look older and have the potential to interfere with peripheral vision. The current state of the art is to reinforce the anatomical structure of the surrounding eye tissue while removing less fat than was historically done in these procedures. This is especially true for male eyelids.
With the modern technique, fat that was formerly removed during Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery is now repositioned to a more youthful position. The goal is to prevent a hollow appearance of the eye over the long term. Even though Men’s Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery does not reduce fine lines around the eyes, chemical peels and laser treatments are very effective with these, especially in combination with the surgical procedure. This is less common in men, however, unless there is significant sun damage. Eyelid Surgery can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial procedures, such as facelift or brow lift.
Whether you live in Marin County, San Francisco, or anywhere in the Bay area, Dr. Delgado is prepared to develop a unique treatment plan to get the results you desire. Our practice is dedicated to preparing our patients for the expected results and recovery that come with all procedures. Postoperative care is also a vital part of any procedure and patients often arrange for follow up visits at either of our Bay Area offices.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on patient condition and specific needs.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE?
Usually men in their 50’s will begin to notice a tired appearance around their eyes. This is caused by a fullness or puffiness of their eyelids, caused by the accumulation of fat, as well as progressive laxity of the skin with age. An increase in the size of these fat deposits is generally unrelated to weight gain or loss, but is rather a result of the passage of time. This fat functions as a significant shock absorber around the eyes and provides important protection to the globes. With time, the connective tissue that once held this protective fat in position begins to stretch and lose its tone. Although it appears as if the fat itself is bulging, this phenomenon is actually caused by the relaxation of the tissue that encompasses it.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men who are physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations. Many people feel that their eyes are their most attractive feature. When aging starts to steal that away, Male Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery is the most reliable and successful means of restoring a youthful appearance to that asset.
WHAT RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED?
Male blepharoplasty gives a person a more youthful and rested appearance without changing the shape or expression of the eyes. In some cases, peripheral vision will be restored to levels not enjoyed for many years. The results will look natural and balanced without any surgical look. Although the results can be expected to last for many years, the aging process will continue. At some point in the future, a small amount of excess skin or fat could be removed to extend the effectiveness of the original procedure.
While the vast majority of our patients live in or around San Francisco and Marin County, our practice is happy to host people from all over California and around the United States. Please don’t hesitate to call or read through our “Out of Town Patients” page if there are any questions you may have.
Before Male Eyelid Surgery
The initial consultation can be scheduled at either Dr. Delgado’s San Francisco office or his Marin County office. At this meeting, Dr. Delgado and the patient will discuss the concerns the patient has about his appearance. Together, the patient’s goals and expectations are addressed. Digital photography may be used to put the patient’s image on the computer. Computer imaging can aid in evaluating a patient’s appearance and demonstrating the proposed changes that can result. A patient’s medical history will be reviewed and a physical examination will be conducted. Dr. Delgado will determine if the upper eyelid sagging is due to the upper eyelid skin or laxity of the eyebrow or a combination of both. He will determine if there is laxity of the lower eyelids that could be improved with tightening or other procedures.
Dr. Delgado will advise the patient as to whether Eyelid Surgery is the best procedure for the patient to meet his or her goals. He will help the patient decide whether both the upper and lower eyelids need correction and whether a brow lift is advisable. At times, additional suggestions are made. For example, if one would like eyelid rejuvenation and this will make the face look significantly younger, he may suggest other procedures to balance the face and to create harmony.
The patient will be given a pre-operative instruction booklet that will explain medications that will be ordered as well as any preparations that need to be made at home for recovery. This pre-operative booklet provides a detailed list of aspirin and aspirin-containing compounds, including anti-inflammatory products, that must be discontinued two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, in order to minimize bleeding. However, Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be safely taken during this time. However, do not exceed 1 gram over 4 hours or 4 grams per day from all sources since this can cause liver damage.
DAY OF SURGERY
The surgery takes place at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Delgado’s private surgery suite, located in his Marin County office on the Sutter Marin County Community Hospital campus. This allows Dr. Delgado to offer his patients private, concierge medical care, while providing the extra measure of safety and reassurance afforded by the surgery center’s contiguous location to the hospital.
Before anesthesia is given, the eyelids are marked to outline the surgical plan. A felt-tip marking pen, specially designed for this purpose, is used to mark the skin. Dr. Delgado takes great care with the marking in order to create the most natural and balanced shape possible.
The surgical procedure involves excising a thin ellipse of skin from the upper eyelid. The incision is made in the upper eyelid’s natural crease so that when the incision line heals, it will be virtually invisible. A section of muscle underneath is also excised to create a clean upper eyelid crease and the fat distribution may be altered as well. The esthetics of Male Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery has changed over the years. It has evolved from fat removal to fat preservation. As the face ages, it loses the fat that gives the face its youthful appearance. Therefore, often the fat of the upper eyelid is preserved while the redundant skin is excised. The goal is to rejuvenate the eyelids and not create a deep-set or hollow appearance. The male eyelid crease does not show as much as a female’s does so less skin is removed.
The Male Lower Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery is performed either through an incision inside the eyelid (transconjunctival blepharoplasty) or on the outside of the eyelid. The transconjunctival approach is especially ideal for younger men when there is no skin or muscle laxity. Some people have puffy lower eyelids either prematurely or genetically and this approach serves their purpose well. The procedure is performed by retracting the lower eyelid and making an inner eyelid incision. The fat is dissected free and partially excised and only the correct amount of fat is removed.
If the lower eyelid has laxity of the skin and muscle, an incision is made on the exterior of the eyelid below the eyelash line. Once the incision is made, the dissection is carried down to the fat layer that is trimmed, or in some cases, repositioned. The muscle that directly pulls the attachments of the overlying skin is tightened. The outer corner of the eyelid is anchored and then the excess skin is removed. The skin may be treated with a chemical peel or laser resurfacing to reduce crepiness.
Eyelid Surgery on men can be done with local anesthesia or IV sedation. It may be performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as a Face Lift or a Brow Lift. If multiple procedures are performed, general anesthesia is usually recommended. At Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, only a physician who is board-certified in anesthesia administers anesthesia. Dr. Delgado and the anesthesiologist assist the patient in determining the best choice of anesthesia for his procedure. Additionally, the anesthesiologist calls the patient the night before surgery to review his/her medical history, confirm last minute instructions and answer any questions he/she may have related to the anesthesia.
After Eyelid Surgery
The first few hours after surgery are spent in the recovery room and cold compresses are placed over the eyes. The head and back are elevated above the heart to reduce swelling. When full alertness has returned, the patient may be discharged home. It is necessary to have a responsible adult with the patient for the first 24 hours. Male blepharoplasty surgery is not painful, but a sensation of tightness from the swelling can be uncomfortable. During the first 48 hours, ice compresses to the eyelids will help significantly with reduction of this swelling. Some patients experience irritated eyes for the first few days. An ointment or eye drops will be prescribed until the symptoms resolve.
For Male Eyelid Plastic Surgery, it is recommended that a patient take five to seven days off work. If only the upper lids are done, then a patient could return to work after three to four days. The sutures are removed five days after surgery. The bruising resolves in seven to ten days and at this point, the use of eye makeup and contact lenses may be resumed. The incisions remain pink for approximately four to six weeks, gradually fading to inconspicuous lines in approximately 8-12 weeks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first four to six weeks following Male Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery as excessive exercise can cause unwelcome and persistent swelling.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on patient condition and specific needs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Eyelid Surgery
1. What is an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty?
An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that rejuvenates the upper and lower eyelid. It generally involves removing skin, a strip of muscle, and fat. The lower eyelid can be tightened to improve the angle. The addition of a chemical peel can smooth out the crepe paper skin that often appears with age on the lower eyelid. The result is eyelids that are more youthful, and a rested, energetic appearance to the face overall.
2. When should I have an eyelid lift/blepharoplasty?
In general, most men start to experience eyelid laxity in their late forties or early fifties. The eyes are a prominent feature and tend to be the first place to show signs of aging. This is especially true of people who have fair complexions and have had a lot of sun exposure.
The age to have a male eyelid lift varies from person to person. People age at different rates and certainly all people do not feel the same about the changes that come with age. Also, a man may opt to have both upper and lower eyelids lifted, or simply an upper or lower eyelid lift alone.
3. What is the difference between a lower eyelid lift/blepharoplasty, through an internal incision versus an external incision?
A male eyelid lift through an internal incision is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. This means that the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid. Therefore, there is no external incision. This is a good technique to remove “fat bags,” but does not tighten the skin. This procedure is appropriate for younger males with good-quality skin tone.
The external eyelid surgery is through an incision made just below the eyelash line. The advantage is that more tissue layers can be treated. The fat can be removed, the muscle tightened or trimmed, and the fat removed.
Dr. Delgado addresses the needs of each patient individually, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each surgical approach.
4. Can other surgical procedures be done during the same operation?
Yes, patients who undergo eyelid surgery frequently choose to have additional facial procedures done at the same time. This may be a complete facelift, which includes the eyelid lift, an endoscopic brow lift, and a lower face/neck lift. Some men choose to have male breast reduction surgery or liposuction.
5. Will insurance cover my eyelid lift/blepharoplasty procedure?
Yes, in some cases the insurance will pay for surgery. When the upper eyelids begin to restrict the vision, then it becomes a medical issue. If peripheral field of vision testing shows a reduction in eyesight, then the surgical procedure will be covered by insurance. Sometimes, the lower eyelid will be covered, if the eye does not close correctly, causing dry eyes.
6. Is there a chance I could go blind in one eye?
Unfortunately, yes. This complication is very rare, but does occur with 0.02% of eyelid lifts, or blepharoplasties. It is usually due to bleeding or a hematoma, which arises when a vein or artery begins to bleed. This can be successfully treated if caught in time.
7. Is cosmetic male eyelid surgery a difficult recovery?
The upper eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is an easy recovery. The lower eyelid lift is a more difficult recovery, particularly when an external incision is made and several layers are tightened. The eyes are very sensitive and highly reactive, and though pain is not the issue, the area becomes tight from swelling. At times, this swelling can temporarily affect tear duct function.
8. When can I return to work and exercise?
After an upper and lower blepharoplasty, the sutures are removed after one week and bruising resolves in approximately 10-14 days. Men typically can drive by the end of one week, work by the end of the second week, and exercise after four to six weeks. Over time, the incisions heal beautifully to become practically invisible.
9. What is the cost for an eyelid lift surgery?
The cost of an upper and lower eyelid lift is $6000 to 7000 dollars depending on the severity and surgical time. Upper eyelids can also be done in the office under local anesthesia for $2800. Note: lower eyelids must be done in the operating room under general anesthesia or IV sedation for better control.