Norman Pastorek, MD, PC, FACS

Our eyelids have the thinnest, most delicate skin on our bodies, so it’s little surprise that they are often the first facial feature to succumb to aging. As skin starts to sag and fold over the upper eyelids, we may find that we look a little older, sadder, or more tired than we feel. Male or female, if you are bothered by these changes, aesthetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can provide an excellent solution.

While aging generally progresses in the same way for all adults, your own emotional response to the aging process is likely quite different depending on your gender. Moreover, your upper eyelids are anatomically nuanced to show distinctly feminine or masculine characteristics. This is why my surgical techniques for upper eyelid lifts differ for men and women—to best preserve your natural appearance and achieve the desired improvements.

The Female Upper Eyelid Lift: Restoring a Youthful Aesthetic

As a person’s face ages, a man’s “stock” may go up, but a woman’s “stock” may go down. This is a fact of life in our society. Understandably, then, the majority of upper eyelid lift patients are women who would like their eyes to look as they did when they were younger.

An aesthetically pleasing eyelid lift for a female patient will restore a clean, well-defined crease to the eyelid, giving the eyes a more open appearance. I achieve this by removing excess skin to correct sagging over the outer edge of the eyelid, sculpting the area to leave about a quarter-inch of skin visible between the eyelash margin and the lid crease. In most cases, I will also remove a tiny amount of fat to eliminate any puffiness in the upper eyelid.

Because a woman’s upper eyelid tissue is typically quite thin to begin with, it is crucial to remove only the amount of fat and skin necessary to achieve a natural youthfulness. Removing too much fat can leave the eyes with what we call an “A-frame deformity.” When this occurs, the eyelid crease becomes too deep, resulting in a hollow, even skeletal appearance that actually causes a woman to look older. I avoid this by leaving as much fat as possible in the central upper lid, instead concentrating on sculpting the outer area of the eyelid for a beautiful result.

Upper Eyelid Lifts for Men: Correcting the Effects of Aging

While a man’s eyelids age much in the same way as a woman’s, the masculine brow and eyelid have a naturally thicker and “heavier” aesthetic. It is normal even for a young man to have fuller eyelids, often to the point where the upper lid is not visible. My male patients have distinctly different reasons for choosing to have upper eyelid lift surgery. They are not usually too concerned with looking younger, but instead would like to address drooping skin that is pushing down on the eyelids enough to obstruct vision.

Upper eyelid lift surgery for a male patient should retain the heavier, fuller appearance natural to the masculine brow while achieving the desired correction. I always adapt my surgical techniques to avoid overly lifting the eyelid, which can feminize a man’s appearance. This involves removing a much more conservative amount of fat and skin than I would for a female patient.

Women and men alike can benefit from blepharoplasty to address bothersome aspects of eyelid aging. However, we are each distinctly different when it comes to our aesthetic goals and facial characteristics. Perfecting the upper eyelid lift to account for these differences requires tremendous skill, absolute precision, and a keen eye for aesthetic detail.