Brow lift Vs. Blepharoplasty: What’s the Difference?

The Wall Center for Plastic Surgery

As plastic surgeons in Louisiana, we’ve encountered a lot of patients who feel like their “eyes” look mad, sad, or tired, but they feel just the opposite.  They know that most of these unwanted facial expressions around the eyes are caused by aging, but they’re unsure if they need a brow lift or a blepharoplasty procedure, or even if they can get away without surgery altogether.

First, it is important to clarify exactly what is bothering each individual patient and where they “see” the aging.  Then, the discussion centers around which intervention will work the best for each person’s condition and desires.  Many times, we can utilize Botox and wrinkle fillers with beautiful results, alleviating most or all of the signs of aging without needing to perform surgery.  Other times, when facial aging is more advanced, we consider different surgeries for around the frame of the eyes, which usually consist of some form of a brow shaping or lifting procedure, and blepharoplasty, which is upper and/or eyelid surgery.

Which one does what?

A brow lift is exactly what it sounds like, with the added benefit of brow shaping, utilizing more recent and advanced techniques, either endoscopic (utilizing tiny access sites) or open (usually with incisions shorter than 2 inches on each side).  Blepharoplasty is essentially an eyelid procedure where excess folds of upper eyelid skin are removed from the upper lids, many times with contouring of the entire length of the upper lid.  Lower lid blepharoplasty can include skin tightening, but mainly streamlines and minimizes hollows and bulges from the lower lids and orbital rim.  This is accomplished through hidden incisions, by tightening and repositioning the eyelid muscle and providing a smoother platform beneath the eyelid skin.

If the part of the brow closest to the temple region is drooping, with persistent wrinkles and hooding by the outside of the eyes, a patient usually is a candidate for a brow lift.  Older methods of brow lifts could effectively lift the entire brow, but usually required longer incisions and inexact brow shaping.  In our practice, we have found a temporal brow lift is very effective in repositioning the outside of the brow and skin beneath it, and has the added benefit of shorter incisions and exact brow shaping.  Brows that have a sagging of the outside part of the brow tend to make a person look sad or mad; therefore, lifting the portion of the brow to its appropriate height can immediately improve appearance and dramatically improve the sad or tired appearance.  Another advantage of temporal brow lifts is the ability to shape the brow and not cause over-elevation of the inner part of the brow, which can result in a “surprised” look.

If a patient merely has excess skin on the upper lids, then we would more than likely suggest a blepharoplasty. You don’t have to live with a tired, sagging eyelid appearance. Through a relatively straight-forward, tried and true plastic surgery procedure, our surgeons can tighten and revitalize both upper and lower lids. With the excess skin removed and the fatty deposits that cause puffiness smoothed and contoured, a patient’s eyes will appear greatly rejuvenated.

A blepharoplasty can also go hand in hand with a brow lift; however, it doesn’t have to. Whichever a patient chooses, The Wall Center is happy to give them the results they are seeking.

Have you ever had one of these procedures? If you haven’t, which one would you most likely opt for?

To your health and beauty,

The Doctors Wall

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