There's an old Romanian proverb that says, "The eyes have one language, everywhere."
Your facial expressions and the way others perceive you have a lot to do with the eyes. They can be bright and full of life, giving everyone around you a sense of joy. Or, they can be dull and weary, presenting a sense of fatigue or anger. One way or the other, your eyes silently communicating to the world.
If the skin around your eyes has begun to succumb to aging, cosmetic surgery can help. Discovering the right procedure for your specific needs is often difficult, and you should consult with an experienced, qualified plastic surgeon. Through their knowledge, they'll be able to answer your questions and recommend the right procedure (or procedures) to deliver your desired results.
An area of frequent confusion among patients (and even many non-core cosmetic providers) is the difference between brow lift and eyelid procedures. In this article, we'll compare the brow lift vs. eyelid surgery as a starting point for you to better understand the differences and find out which is right for you.
Brow Lift vs. Eyelid Surgery
Both of these treatments enhance the appearance of the eyes, and target specific areas around the eyes. A brow lift addresses the forehead, the upper eyes, and the eyebrows; while eyelid surgery can address the upper and/or lower eyelids.
Each treatment works by lifting and tightening loose skin and support tissues and repositioning or removing fat as needed. While they are both surgical procedures, patients usually experience little discomfort and very minor scarring.
Do I Need a Brow Lift?
The most common reasons for undergoing brow lift surgery include the appearance of low, heavy eyebrows, horizontal wrinkles across the forehead, and vertical frown lines (also called the "11s") between the eyes. These problems usually stem from aging, sagging of the skin, and chronic muscle tension, and can make even the most kind-hearted person appear tired or angry.
A brow lift tightens sagging skin and releases the muscles, helping the eyebrows raise up and frown lines relax. Some of the deeper lines may not completely go away, but their appearance will be much improved. Patients who also add filler, Botox, and resurfacing treatments often experience the best results.
Do I Need Eyelid Surgery?
Sagging, or wrinkled skin, around the upper eyelids causes you to look tired or unhappy. Your eyelids may lack contouring, or make your eyelashes disappear. If this is the case, upper eyelid surgery may be the best choice.
If you have puffy bags under your eyes, lower eyelid surgery may be the ticket. Often puffy, or hollowed eyes, make you appear like you're not getting enough rest.
Regardless of how you feel, puffy eyes cause others to read you as exhausted. Herniated fat collecting beneath the eyes, or loose and sagging lower eyelid tissue, can occur in patients as young as 20 - unfortunately making them appear much older than they are.
Both upper and lower eyelid surgery restore a youthful shape and refreshed appearance to your eyes. In many cases, patients get both an upper and lower eyelid adjustment. Sometimes, combining an eyelid surgery and a brow lift surgery yields the best results.
Do I Need Both?
A lot of candidates are bothered by more than one problem area. Remember, although eyelid surgeries and brow lifts address the eye area, they are separate distinct procedures. You may need both procedures if you have issues with forehead wrinkles, low sagging eyebrows, droopy eyelids, or bags under the eyes.
Luckily, your surgeon can perform both procedures together. Recovery time is not affected by having both procedures done at the same time.
For many cases, pairing surgery with additional treatments delivers the most pleasing results. As we mentioned before, deeper frown lines may not be completely resolved with surgery, but adding filler, Botox, or resurfacing can improve the end result.
Treatments you may consider in tandem with a brow lift or eyelid surgery include Botox, fillers, or even fat transfers. In some cases, committing to a better skin care regimen may be all you need. Your plastic surgeon can help you create a comprehensive and effective treatment plan.
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Deciding between a brow lift and an eye lift can seem overwhelming. The choice essentially comes down to your individual problem areas and desired effects. Both treatments help smooth and open up the eye area, correct issues, and make you appear younger, happier, and less tired. However, no one should make the decision alone.
A lot of misinformation exists online surrounding facial treatments. Some people believe upper blepharoplasty alone can fix droopy eyes, and others say botox is always a good treatment for wrinkled foreheads. Neither of these statements is 100% true, and when a patient gets the wrong treatment for their needs, the results range from underwhelming to disastrous.
Because of this, seeking out a board certified plastic surgeon to help match you with the right treatments is necessary. Consulting with a surgeon who is skilled in a wide range of procedures ensures you get the best treatment for your needs.
Dr. Fan is an award-winning, Harvard-trained, plastic surgeon specializing in natural beauty. He can assess your specific concerns and recommend a personalized treatment plan. Schedule your complimentary consultation here.