The effects of aging are unique to each individual; however, many men and women notice a heavier, droopy look to the brow line and eyelids over time. Both a brow lift and blepharoplasty (also known as an eyelid lift) can treat signs of aging and achieve a more youthful, brighter upper face appearance. But how do you know which procedure is right for you? Cosmetic surgeon Dr. George T. Goffas explains the differences between these two popular facial procedures and when you should consider either (or both) to rejuvenate your appearance.
What is an eyelid lift?
An eyelid lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids. Eye lift is used to treat both cosmetic and medical concerns.
Benefits of an eyelid lift
An eyelid lift achieves a rejuvenated eye appearance for a brighter, more open eye look and may also enhance your quality of life if your vision is impaired by sagging skin in the upper eyelid:
- Removes excess skin and fat on the upper and/or lower eyelids
- Creates a more youthful eye shape
- Improves the vision of some patients
- Relieves headache symptoms for some patients
Eyelid lift procedure
Eyelift surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Depending on your surgical plan, you will have either general anesthesia provided by an anesthesiologist, or you may have IV sedation or “twilight” anesthesia in combination with numbing medication for the treatment area. While you are asleep for the entirety of the procedure under general anesthesia, twilight anesthesia is a sedation technique that allows you to stay awake in a relaxed, pain-free state during the procedure.
Treating the upper eyelid
To treat the upper eyelids, your surgeon will make an incision along the natural fold of your eyelid to remove excess skin, fat, and muscle. If needed, your surgeon will also perform ptosis surgery to tighten the muscle that lifts to the upper eyelid to improve your field of vision. Ptosis surgery may be required in one or both eyelids and can also help achieve a symmetrical eye appearance.
Treating the lower eyelid
For the lower eyelids, your surgeon will make an incision inside the lower eyelid or just below the bottom lashline in your eye’s natural crease. Excess skin, muscle, and fat is removed or repositioned for a pleasing contour.
Eyelid lift scars
An upper eyelid lift scar is concealed in your eyelids’ natural crease when your eye is open and, after following recovery instructions to care for your healing incision, will be nearly invisible when your eye is closed. A lower eyelid lift scar is hidden in the natural crease of your lower eyelid or in the lower lash line.
When you should consider an eyelid lift
An eyelid lift may be the right procedure for you if you have any of the following indicators:
- You have hooded eyelids and sagging skin around your eyes that make you look tired, age your appearance, and/or impede your vision.
- Your fat deposits have fallen, causing eyelid sagging and vision impairment while also giving your eyes a tired, puffy look.
- You have bags under your eyes (a combination of fallen fat deposits and fluid buildup) that are a trademark of the aging process.
- You have unwanted fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes that add years to your appearance.
An eyelid lift can target both the upper and lower eyelids to achieve a balanced appearance, but not all patients require both to be addressed.
What is a brow lift?
A brow lift (or forehead lift) is a surgical procedure that tightens the muscles and skin of the forehead to improve the appearance of your browline, forehead, and eye area. In many cases, a minimally-invasive brow lift using minimal incisions can be used to reduce your downtime after surgery.
Benefits of a brow lift
A brow lift raises the brow line to a natural position to achieve a lighter, more youthful appearance and also offers additional upper-face enhancements:
- Corrects uneven brows
- Restores the natural arch of your brows
- Reduces sagging of the upper eyelids
- Diminishes signs of aging in the upper face
Brow lift procedure
Brow lift surgery is a slightly more invasive surgery than eye lift and can be performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. There are several brow lift techniques, and your surgeon will consider your existing hairline and unique anatomy and physiology to determine which technique will achieve your aesthetic goals and best conceal the incision sites.
In general, each brow lift technique uses the smallest possible incisions, placed within the hairline, to tighten muscles in the forehead, remove excess skin and fat, and reposition the brow line to a naturally higher position on the face.
Brow lift scars
Brow lift scars are concealed within your hair, though this may vary slightly depending on the technique your surgeon uses. For example, patients with a receding hairline may have incisions along the top of their eyebrows to prevent more visible scars within a thinner hairline.
When you should consider a brow lift
A brow lift may be the right procedure for you if you have any of the following indicators:
- You have a low-lying brow that may give you an angry, confused appearance.
- You have saggy upper eyelids due to a low-lying brow, which make you look tired and may obstruct your vision.
- You have crow’s feet and deep forehead lines that age your appearance.
Can I combine both procedures?
Yes—combining these procedures allows you and your surgeon to plan a comprehensive approach to achieving your cosmetic goals and treating any associated medical concerns.
Benefits of combining an eyelid lift with a brow lift
Each procedure serves a specific purpose (with some overlap) and can offer stronger benefits when performed together:
- Enhanced results. Treating a low-lying brow will complement your eyelid lift, as a heavy brow is likely an underlying cause to droopy eyelids.
- A more natural appearance. It is likely that both your brow line and your eyes will experience signs of aging simultaneously so treating both areas will appear more natural than if you only rejuvenated one area.
- Less maintenance. Though the natural aging process will continue, combining both procedures will significantly delay the need for touch up procedures to maintain your results.
Trust a board-certified cosmetic surgeon for eye and brow rejuvenation
To help you determine which procedure will achieve your goals or if combining an eyelid lift with a brow lift will best deliver the results you desire, choose a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who is highly experienced in achieving safe, pleasing cosmetic surgery results.
Dr. George Goffas is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) and has over fifteen years of experience in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Goffas would be happy to meet with you, discuss your goals and concerns, and develop a treatment plan optimized to achieve a rejuvenated, natural-looking appearance. Dr. Goffas performs all procedures on-site in his private, AAAHC-accredited surgery center at Cosmetic Surgeons of Michigan. Schedule your personal consultation today by calling 586-773-6900 or contacting us online.