Brow Lift VS Eyelid Lift – Which One is Right for Me?

Published: April 24, 2023
Category: Brow Lift, Dr. Robert Wilke, Blog

As we age, our faces lose supportive fat, muscle tone, and even bone mass. The rate at which our skin produces collagen and elastin, two components of skin crucial for keeping it firm and plump, also significantly declines. As a result, we may notice loose, sagging skin along the jawline, neck, forehead, eyebrows, and eyes. A traditional facelift can help tighten and reposition sagging skin on the lower face and neck, but what about the upper third of the face? Brow lift and eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, are two surgical procedures that can correct a drooping forehead and sagging eyelid skin to help restore a fresher, more youthful appearance to the face. Here’s how to tell if you may be a good candidate for one, the other, or BOTH!

What is a Brow Lift?

“The passage of time affects each of our faces differently,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner with Edina Plastic Surgery. “Many people notice a heaviness, or drooping, start to set in in their brow region and upper eyelids in their 40s and 50s. Some individuals already have a relatively low brow position naturally, even in their youth, which becomes exaggerated with age and can make them appear tired, angry, or sad. A brow lift, sometimes called a forehead lift, can help lighten this heaviness and create a more lifted and pleasant appearance to the forehead. The procedure repositions the skin and soft tissues of the forehead and brow, which smooths deep, horizontal forehead wrinkles and lifts sagging eyebrows that may hang over the upper eyelids. As a result, patients’ eyes appear more alert, their forehead smoother and more relaxed, and the entire face looks fresher and happier.”

A brow lift focuses on accomplishing the following:

  • Elevate the eyebrows
  • Tighten loose forehead skin
  • Reduce sagging in upper eyelids and any lateral hooding
  • Correct brow asymmetry

What are the 3 Types of Brow Lift Surgery?

Endoscopic Brow Lift

“The endoscopic brow lift is the most common technique performed at Edina Plastic Surgery,” says Dr. Wilke. “It makes three to five small incisions behind the hairline, after which an endoscope (a flexible, tubular instrument) with a camera is inserted and used to visualize the surgery location. The brow is lifted to an optimal position and secured internally. The endoscopic brow lift is a less invasive approach for patients who want to rejuvenate their brows without significant downtime or scarring.”

Open Brow Lift

An open brow lift technique may be needed if a patient has very pronounced, heavy brows. During this procedure, a longer incision is utilized, which extends across the top of the scalp or along the front hairline. Excess scalp or forehead skin is removed to lift the brow. This approach involves more downtime and scarring but is the most powerful technique for achieving brow elevation.

Temporal Brow Lift

“Some patients only need added elevation at the outer brow to achieve a beautiful outcome,” advises Dr. Wilke. “In this case, a temporal brow lift may be a good solution. With this technique, an incision is placed behind the hairline in the temple region, then the outer portion of the brow is lifted and anchored into its new position. The temporal lift is best for patients whose lateral brow is flat or downsloping.”

What is an Eyelid Lift, or Blepharoplasty?

“If a key facial feature can affect your appearance drastically, it is the eye area,” says Dr. Wilke. “Our eyes are the first thing someone notices when they approach us. When eyelids begin to droop, or we develop dark, heavy bags under our eyes, we may become self-conscious. In some cases, a patient may even find that they can no longer see as well as they used to due to excess skin hooding over their line of sight. “

“Blepharoplasty is a corrective procedure used to address both cosmetic and functional concerns related to the upper and lower eyelids,” explains Dr. Wilke. “By removing excess fat and tightening the surrounding skin, blepharoplasty can restore a balanced, more youthful-looking appearance to the eyes and make the entire face look fresh and more alert.”

What are the Key Differences Between a Brow Lift and an Eyelid Lift?

  • A brow lift targets excess skin and the soft tissues of the forehead, while a blepharoplasty targets excess skin and fat in the upper, lower, or both eyelids.
  • A blepharoplasty can improve the appearance of the eyes, but it does NOT reposition the eyebrows, while a brow lift surgically elevates the eyebrows and improves the appearance of the upper eyelids without removing skin or fat from the eyelids.
  • Brow lift incisions are made along the hairline in the forehead, while eyelid lift incisions are made along the natural creases of the upper eyelids or inside the lower eyelid.

How Do I Know if I Need a Brow Lift, Eyelid Lift, or BOTH?

“A thorough consultation with your plastic surgeon will help identify if you are a good candidate for a brow lift, blepharoplasty, or could benefit from both procedures,” explains Dr. Wilke. “There are several factors your surgeon will consider when assessing which procedure will help you achieve your goals.”

In general, a brow lift is best for patients with the following:

  • Heavy, drooping eyebrows
  • Fine lines and deep wrinkles on the forehead
  • Vision that is obstructed due to the heavy, low positioning of the eyebrows

In general, an eyelid lift is best for patients with the following:

  • Loose, excess skin on the upper or lower eyelids
  • Hooded, droopy eyelids that obstruct vision
  • Prominent bags under the eyes

Can a Brow Lift and Eyelid Lift Be Combined?

“In some patients, a brow lift or blepharoplasty alone will not address all of a patient’s concerns or achieve their aesthetic goals,” says Dr. Wilke. “In these cases, your surgeon may recommend combining the two procedures to rejuvenate the entire upper third of the face. For example, a patient’s brow may appear even heavier if only excess skin on the upper eyelid is removed. Performing a simultaneous brow lift will help anchor the position of the eyebrows to prevent further drooping of the upper eyelids. These two procedures work wonderfully in tandem. Together, they can create an overall more rested, alert, and youthful-looking appearance to the face. They can even be combined with facelift surgery for truly transformational results!”

Are you concerned about a heavy, drooping forehead or eyes that make you appear older than you feel? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Robert Wilke or another board-certified surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery to discuss brow lift and blepharoplasty surgery by calling (612) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE!

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