A brow lift and an eyelid surgery are two different procedures, and they produce different results—but I encounter many patients who don’t know exactly how to distinguish between them. It’s understandable that that’s the case: after all, as we age we undergo a variety of changes to our facial features, and it’s not always easy to tell exactly which one we’re noticing when we’re looking in the mirror (since mostly we’re just noticing that we look older!). To help you figure out what’s what when it comes to brow lifts vs. blepharoplasty, here’s a quick rundown:
Upper-eyelid blepharoplasty requires making an incision (usually in the natural crease of the eye’s inner corner) and removing fatty tissue and excess skin from the eyelid itself. A brow lift, meanwhile, involves the altering and removal of the muscles and tissues in your forehead to smooth out lines and reduce the sagging effect they can cause. A good litmus test for determining whether you need a brow lift or if an upper-lid surgery is enough on its own is this: Looking in the mirror, pull your brow/forehead up with your fingers and note the difference. Next, try simply lifting up the extra skin on your eyelids, and see what kind of difference that makes.
If getting rid of that excess baggage on your lids seems like it will do enough to rejuvenate your looks, then a blepharoplasty is what you’re looking for. If your real problem is that the muscles in your brow are dragging down your skin—giving you a furrowed, tired look—then a brow lift is probably in order.
Keep in mind that there are other options besides blepharoplasty and brow lifts as well, such as Botox or Dysport injections; sometimes they can give you just enough of a lift on their own so that surgery isn’t necessary! Determining which procedures are actually needed is something that is difficult to do on your own, however, so I would suggest scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon if you’re serious about pursuing any kind of upper-face rejuvenation, whether it’s surgical or not: a consultation is free, it doesn’t take long, and—best of all—it will ensure that you achieve the best long-term results possible!