Brow Lift vs Eyelid Surgery

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Brow Lift vs Eyelid Surgery for Facial Rejuvenation.

Upper facial ageing is common after the age of thirty or forty.  There isn’t a more obvious place that ageing occurs than around the central features of your face (your eyes and eyelids). Because they show ageing more quickly, they are often the first areas of the face that people choose to treat with cosmetic procedures. Eyelid ageing is soon followed by ageing of the lips, mouth, jawline, cheeks and temples. However, the first step many people choose is to rejuvenate the upper face and eyelids, but that creates questions; What do I choose? Do you need surgery or are injectables/laser a better option? If surgery is the answer what procedure do I choose – brow lift vs eyelid surgery? How do I figure out WHICH of these two options is going to give me the best results?

Here at Coco Ruby, we know all too well that make these choices can be difficult, so we are here to help. In this blog, we hope to shed some light on what to consider when you’re considering having your brows or your eyelids lifted.

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Eyelids or Brows? Here’s where an expert Surgeon’s opinion really matters.

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  • As with all cosmetic procedures, there’s typically never just ONE solution that fits every person’s face perfectly.
  • Typically, you’ll get to choose between several workable options. However, they will come with different costs, time frames, risks and downtime.
  • Some patients can achieve eye area rejuvenation with cosmetic injections alone. At least temporarily.
  • Others have lost too much skin elasticity to benefit from injections in that area and may need a surgical solution.

A Surgeon, however, can help you evaluate your best alternatives, including; non-surgical and surgical solutions. This evaluation is based upon a number of factors;

  • This includes professionally assessing your;
    • skin health and resiliency
    • Anatomy
    • Facial ageing
    • The distance between your brows and upper eyelids.

It may also include an assessment of what non-surgical options you might have to improve the appearance of your eyes and brows. For example, cosmetic dermal filler injections or muscle relaxing injections. There are many factors that go into making a good decision when choosing between a brow lift vs an eyelid reduction – and whether you might need both.

It’s best to discuss your brow lift and eyelid surgery options with an Expert Surgeon, in person.

This allows you to gain a realistic assessment of what can be accomplished  – and how. An in-person surgical assessment can also advise you of what impact a surgical reduction of the eyelids vs a brow lift will have on your overall facial appearance. You can schedule a consultation with facial rejuvenation Surgeon by phoning (03) 8849 1444 in Melbourne.

  • An expert Surgeon can help you decide what your best eyelid reduction or brow lift surgery options will address your specific concerns.
  • Taking into account your skin and facial anatomy, your Surgeon can advise you on the:
    • Position of your brows
    • Degree of excess eyelid skin
    • Risks of having one procedure over another in terms of effects and impact on the entire facial appearance
    • How to resolve your concerns most effectively
  • Note that a brow lift does not intend to reduce wrinkles on the forehead; it is more to align the brows in a more elevated position on the forehead, but one that still looks natural.
  • For wrinkle reduction, consider cosmetic injections such as wrinkle relaxers.

But be careful who you choose to perform your eyelid or brow surgery.

Look for an expert like a Specialist Plastic Surgeon or Oculoplastic surgeon. No one wants to risk a botched blepharoplasty, so be sure you understand and avoid the higher risks of medical tourism or cheap offers for eyelid reductions by non-dedicated or less-trained Surgeons.

  • Eyelid and Brow Surgery are very complex procedures.
  • They need to be performed with excellent planning and surgical precision, requiring the utmost surgical skills.
  • You’ll ideally want these surgeries performed by a highly-respected professional in the field of Oculoplastic Surgery.

Dangers of a Blepharoplasty Procedure Gone Wrong

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The Botched Eyelid Lift or the Brow Lift that leaves you looking ‘surprised’. Avoiding an unnatural-looking result means choosing a talented, trained, highly skilled Surgeon with a surgical focus on the procedure. Overseas medical tourism is thought to be risky for most procedures, but even more so for eyelid procedures. Less experienced Surgeons can leave you looking startled. This can occur if they raise the brow too high.

Non-Eyelid Experts can also leave you with a hollowed looking eye area or eyelid function problems. This can happen because they lack the technical skill required to perform brow and eyelid lifts. They can inadvertently end up taking too much skin away during the procedure. It’s important to remember a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ might just be a GP, not a designated Specialist. To avoid this you check with AHPRA.

Worse yet, if you risk overseas surgery, a discount GP or skin doctor who has limited expertise in eye procedures, you might have major eyelid complications that are impossible to remedy. For example; you may not be able to fully close your eyes. An example of this can be found in the movie Behind the Candelabra, which revealed celebrity Liberace had a botched eyelid procedure.

So find yourself a surgeon who dedicates their practice to eyelid and brow lift procedures and is highly regarded for their experience and technical expertise. An Eyelid Surgery expert like a specialist plastic surgeon focuses not only on getting patients natural-looking facial rejuvenation but also helps patients decide which procedure will give them the results they want. Good surgery decisions always take into account your skin condition, appearance goals and facial anatomy.

Is Facial Ageing Worse in Australia due to sun exposure? Does that include the eyelid skin?

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The eyelid area usually leads the way in facial ageing. This is due to the fact that;

  1.  The skin is thinner
  2.  Facial and eye muscles frequently move
  3. And the area is repeatedly taxed by your facial expressions.

Prematurely ageing eyelids CAN also occur earlier in life for people living in Australia or other sun-drenched countries. This is due to both sun exposure (UV damage) and frequent squinting, both of which can take their toll on your eyelid skin resiliency.

But whether your skin and eyelids still look good at forty, fifty or even sixty is not fully dependent on sun exposure. It also depends on your skin tone, pigmentation levels, skincare regimes, your facial anatomy and dynamic expressions. So how much sun you get DOES count. However, some of your facial ageing is also dependent on your genetics, skin health and facial anatomy. This includes the position of your eyebrow area, both anatomically, how it changes as you age, as well as your eyelid skin.

Deciding between a Brow Lift vs Eyelid Surgery. Ask an expert.

How do I know if I need a Brow Lift vs Eyelid Reduction Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?

Again it’s a complex question. Not every person’s face will be best served by this general answer; because every patient’s different. As mentioned, it’s important to get a confidential consultation with a top-rated Surgeon who understands the procedure in detail. And also someone who has an advanced grasp of facial anatomy, eyelid function and surgical precision. In spite of this, there are some indications you can take into account on your own, to get a general sense of what you MIGHT need.

This general information and in no way does it replace medical advice or advice you would be given during a confidential consultation with an expert Surgeon.

Note the position of the Brow and the degree of Sagging of the Eyelid Skin.

Is it your eyebrow position or the skin laxity below your brow that has led to your appearance concerns?

In general, typically the position of the brow – as well as the laxity of the eyelid skin between the brow and upper lashes comes into play in making these decisions.  A low brow position means that a blepharoplasty procedure may yield unsatisfactory results. But it really depends on numerous factors. These issues are best assessed by a Surgeon who has great communication skills and advanced eye area rejuvenation surgical abilities.

Here are some general guidelines for Brow Lift vs Eyelid Lift Procedures

  • You may need a brow lift if you have very low brows. Or, if the brow area sags to a point that is too low to perform a successful upper eyelid lift without a brow lift.
  • The other option for you may be a combined eyelid surgery and brow lift procedure. This can help you get you a more refreshed appearance.
  • These may be done separately or they may be combined.
  • Many patients will start with one procedure but some will be advised they’ll get a better result with both.
  • If your brows are already naturally in a heightened position and not just because you’re raising them to see better, then a brow lift can leave you looking ‘stunned’ or ‘surprised.’

For many patients, upper eyelid surgery will be the answer. But for patients with low eyebrows, the brow lift may be a better solution. Some patients will benefit from both, or from an upper and lower eyelid procedure.

Average Age of Eyelid Surgery Patients in Australia at our Clinic

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How old are most patients who seek a brow lift or eyelid lift procedure in Melbourne?

The answer is, it varies. Having eyelid surgery at an earlier stage, before the eyelid ptosis is very severe, as it’s benefits. This is because the skin may heal better and the surgery may require less skin reduction. In other words, it is a less intensive procedure, so you could potentially heal more quickly. However, there is no single age that is best. It varies from the mid-30s to 70s and beyond. Although, in general, men and women in their 40s, 50s or early 60s are most keen to explore their eyelid and brow lift options.

Most people who come for eyelid surgery are generally over the age of forty, but NOT ALL.

We are seeing an increase in younger patients wanting a brow lift or eyelid reduction surgery because they are aware of how aesthetically desirable the results can be on the overall facial appearance.

Eyelid and Brow Lift Surgery is Not Just for the Over 40’s and Over 50’s.

  • Even younger patients in their twenties and early thirties may investigate their Eyelid Reduction Surgical options
  • Eyelid Lift surgery can remedy genetically-inherited heavy-looking eyelids. This refers to sagging upper eyelid skin that hangs over the eyelid crease or upper lashes.
  • Lower Eyelid Surgery or Canthoplasty can assist with remedying under-eye bags, sagging skin or lower eyelid problems such as Entropion and Ectropion

Can cosmetic injections help reduce eyelid sagging or a droopy brow? Or do you need an eyelid lift or brow lift instead?

  • It is true that Cosmetic Injections around the brow and eyelids CAN do a lot to rejuvenate that area of the face.
  • If you have mildly sagging eyebrows or eyelid skin, some injections can achieve a slight, temporary eyebrow lift.
  • Fillers and muscle-relaxing injections can also temporarily relax lines and wrinkles, reduce crow’s feet, and gently lift the eyelid area in the early stages of ptosis. But only to a point.
  • Depending on your skin, your anatomy and your degree of ptosis (sagging) of the brow or eyelid skin, you may be best off with a surgery solution, instead.

Every wonder about Eyelid Surgery vs Brow Lift Surgery? Are you questioning which of these procedures might be the best approach to upper face rejuvenation?  Find out why eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) is IN and why Brow Lift surgery is becoming slightly less common for facial rejuvenation.

Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery vs Brow Lift Surgery: What’s the best approach?

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The answer, as always is that it depends on the individual. However, more people opt for eyelid surgery than brow lift surgery. In addition, in the past, the brow lift sometimes left an over-exaggerated or surprised expression. Fortunately, today’s modern brow lift strategies are more conservative and far more flattering. So it really does depend on the individual. But for many people who want rejuvenation of the face, an eyelid lift will be the starting point of their facial rejuvenation.

Age is not the only factor when choosing eyelid surgery vs brow lift surgery

Most people associate cosmetic facial surgery with ageing, but our eyes and eyelids can start comprising our appearance and our vision at nearly any age. Whether our eye and brow area looks fantastic or droopy and lined depends a lot on our genetics as well as our biological age.  Yet when it comes time to do something about sagging eyelids, under-eye bags, or even crow’s feet, some people question whether they should have Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery vs Brow Lift Surgery or injectables alone.

Injectables and laser treatments can do a lot for the fac but injectables and laser treatments can’t reduce excess eyelid skin. Treating a sagging brow with injectables alone can sometimes backfire. So, eyelid and brow area surgery may eventually be a good way to treat the upper face for facial rejuvenation.

Whether eyelid surgery or brow surgery is going to be best for one person might not be best for another person.

  • Surgery needs and surgery results vary from patient to patient.
  • There is no “one size fits all” solution for rejuvenating an ageing eyelid or brow area.
  • Age alone is not the answer to assessing what will give you the greatest benefit.
  • Other factors to consider include;
    • Skin and eye area muscle health
    • Eyelid function
    • Eye and brow area anatomy
    • Facial features and feature balance (proportions)
    • Bone atrophy
    • Skin ageing
    • And your appearance preferences.

In general, however, we’re seeing a trend towards more eyelid lift procedures and fewer brow lift procedures. We’re also seeing them at earlier ages.  Here’s why.

The Hooded Eyelid and Sagging Skin Above the Eyes

Eyelid Lift Surgery vs Brow Lift Surgery:  Why is eyelid surgery more popular and why do some younger people seek out this surgical procedure?  

Some of us are born with tendencies towards hooded, heavy eyelid skin, or double eyelid skin folds. Saggy, heavy eyelid skin can hide our upper lid area and lid crease. This makes applying eye shadow a bit tricky, but it also hides your eyes and lashes. Heavy lids leave us looking older than we are or looking ‘tired.’

Some people also experience a decrease in skin firmness at a relatively early age. This means their eyelid skin starts to look droopy long before they’re in their forties. Contributing factors might include;

  • Family genetics and bone structure
  • Anatomy
  • Dynamic expressions such as repeated squinting
  • Nutrition and skin health
  • Sun damage
  • Makeup allergies
  • Food allergies
  • And, even poor skincare at home.

Eyelid lift surgery, known as Upper Blepharoplasty, gives a visual improvement to the eye area – as well as a potentially practical one.

  • Aesthetically, an eyelid lift can seemingly improve the appearance of the entire face, because the eyes are a focal point.
  • Practically, an eyelid lift can improve vision which has become impeded by droopy eyelid skin.

The Ageing Eyelid – The Process

Although some people have hooded, heavy eyelids their entire life, others get eyelid sagging due to ageing. Over time, our eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. Hormone levels also change and this impacts our skin health, with the results visible first in the areas that have thinner skin and/or the areas we use most when we make expressions. Typically the eyes, around the mouth, jowls or jawline.

For the eye area, muscles weaken and excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids.  What do you get? Sagging eyebrows, drooping upper lids and under-eye “bags” (some of which may be reduced with injectables and others which are best treated with surgery or other cosmetic treatments).

If you have an ageing eyelid and brow area: Is an Eyelid Lift vs Brow Lift better?

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As we grow older, our bones atrophy and our skin loosen. This is seen most visibly around the eyes and mouth (or jaw) rather than other areas of the face. As stated above, this is the skin involved in dynamic expressions. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery can help reposition the skin, including the eyelids (via a Blepharoplasty) and the brow area (Brow Lift or Injectables and Anti-Wrinkle Injections) in the right places. Injections can also help reduce the ‘frown lines’ (11’s) between the brow.

However, younger patients as well as older patients may benefit from eyelid reduction surgery, because genetics can cause some people to have “droopy” eyelids despite their age. And sometimes it’s a matter of aesthetic preferences. Such as people wanting to reduce ‘double eyelid’ appearance, this is also known as Double Eyelid Surgery or Asian Blepharoplasty.

Many younger patients experience puffiness in the lower lids, which is an inherited trait, and is often related to bone structure and the apex of the cheek as much as skin and fat distribution.  Others have heavy, excess skin in the upper lids, which can also be due to genetics or age. If you want:

  • Brighter looking eyes (refreshed, alert, awake) that still look natural and not ‘startled’
  • More youthful eyes
  • Repositioned eyelid skin so that you can see the eyelid crease
  • Smoother eyelid skin
  • A more visible eyelid crease (somewhere to put your makeup)

Then eyelid surgery may be for you. Eyelid surgery is one of the most commonly requested procedures for reducing the signs of premature ageing, drooping eyelids and puffy under-eye “eye bags.” Patients in their 20s, 30s and 40s often seek Eyelid Lift Surgery to have an enhanced platform for makeup or to have a fresher looking appearance. This subtle procedure leaves a significant improvement on the look of the entire face. Drooping skin in the eye area can sometimes be a health concern. When heavy skin and tissue rests on your upper eyelids or eyelashes, eye fatigue can occur and it can even interfere with your vision. If you use your finger and hold your eyelid and eyebrow up and your vision improves, drooping skin is likely causing bad vision.

Droopy eyelids can cause you to:

  • Look older than you are
  • Be told you look tired
  • Have difficulty seeing clearly
  • Have difficulty putting on your eye makeup

You may benefit from eyelid appearance rejuvenation via Blepharoplasty procedures or combined facial and eyelid procedures including a brow lift, anti-wrinkle injectables, or dermal fillers.

Eczema

In addition, many people experience eczema on and around their eyelids. Eczema can cause one or both eyelids to droop and/or look smaller. Furthermore, it can cause a crease or fold on the eyelid. Repeated scratching and rubbing, inflammation and infection of the eyelid causes the eyelids to age prematurely. Eczema also causes thin skin, which is more susceptible to wrinkles, droopiness, and ageing. A Blepharoplasty procedure will remove excess skin caused by eczema.

Confusing a Blepharoplasty with a brow lift

Often, patients confuse wanting a Blepharoplasty procedure with a brow lift. If you’re concerned with the sagging or shape of your eyelids, a Blepharoplasty procedure is right for you. Whereas a brow life is meant to only correct a ‘droopy brow,’ which is found mostly in older patients. The purpose of the brow lift or forehead lift is only to elevate the position of the eyebrows, vertically. It does not tighten the forehead skin or remove forehead wrinkles.

If you’re unsure about what is causing droopy eyelids or what procedure may best reduce your drooping eyelids, under-eye bags and wrinkled, sagging brow area, you may want to consider a laser or surgical Blepharoplasty procedure and then explore additional quality Injectables treatments and Upper Brow Lift procedures.

For the best aesthetic outcome, it is helpful to find out about ALL your rejuvenation options — as well as what each procedure can or cannot accomplish. By doing your research and speaking with qualified surgeons your ensuring that you are making an informed choice. Our Specialists can help determine whether you will benefit MOST from non-surgical treatments or from a surgical Blepharoplasty, BrowLift or Facelift procedure.

Eyelid surgery will rejuvenate your eyes and leave you looking fresher and younger. In the case of a young patient, it will correct droopy eyelids caused by genetics or eczema. Many patients are choosing eyelid surgery over a brow lift based on the results eyelid surgery can offer.

Important questions to ask yourself when you have sagging eyelids and are considering your Brow Lift vs Eyelid Surgery Options

Question 1: Can you see ALL of your eyelashes – if not, how much are they obscured by eyelid skin?

  • When eyelid skin sagging occurs (ptosis, or the condition of ptotic eyelids), it is common for your upper lashes to become hidden by your eyelid skin.
  • Your eyelids may look puffy or hang down over your eyes, partially obstructing your vision.
  • You may have difficulty applying mascara or eye makeup without significantly raising your brows.
  • Eye makeup and mascara may rub off on your eyelid skin or appear hidden by creepy-looking skin folds.

A telltale sign that you have excess eyelid skin is when you can only see only a few eyelashes on each side or less on one side – perhaps you can only just see the eyelash tips.

  • The eyelid skin may even start to look baggy, wrinkled or folded. It may hang diagonally across the iris of the eyes, leaving your eyes looking more ‘triangle’ in shape than oval or round.
  • The crepe-like skin may obscure your crease platform; you may not be able to effectively wear or apply eye shadow or other facial makeup.
  • If you have Asian heritage, you may also have a double-eyelid fold appearance.

If this sounds familiar, you may want to explore your Eyelid Surgery Options such as Upper Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Reduction or Eyelid Lift Surgery).

Question 2: Can you still apply makeup to the eyelid crease and area between your brows and upper eyelashes?

  • Often, it’s an inability to apply eye-shadow, mascara and other eye-enhancing makeup options to your eye area and eyelid crease, that leads women to seek an Upper Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery or an eyelid lift).
  • If you have no ‘eye shadow’ platform or a hidden crease due to puffy eyelid skin above the iris area, this may indicate you need an eyelid lift.
  • If you have a double eyelid or an Asian type of eyelid heritage, you may need what’s called an Asian Blepharoplasty or “double eyelid reduction/lift” to create the eyelid platform to wear makeup and enhance the appearance of the eyes and upper face.

Question 3: Do you need to raise your brows to see better? Or are you constantly raising ONE brow?

  • A lot of brow-raising is reflexive when you naturally find your vision obscured and raise your brow (or brows) to lift the eyelid skin to see better.
  • You might not even notice that you’re doing this (but it can become obvious in photographs including selfies).
  • While women find not being able to wear makeup an impetus for having timely eyelid reduction surgery, for men, it’s often either when their partner insists they need surgery OR when their vision becomes so impeded they can barely see.
  • Sometimes a doctor will advise a patient to see a Plastic Surgeon or Oculoplastic Surgeon because their upper eyelids have become so saggy.

Like it or not, men are not normally as quick to remedy a problem with their eyelid skin as women are; so they tend to have eyelid surgery later than they probably should. This means they may be driving with highly impaired vision due to their eyesight being obscured by sagging eyelid skin.

Question 4: Are your brows sitting so low that they appear to nearly rest on your eyes or lashes?

  • Is there a lot of skin between your eyebrows and eyes, or is hardly any visible because your eyebrows sit low on your forehead?
  • If your brows are very low, there may seem to be very little skin visible between your brows and your upper lashes or eyes.
  • In this scenario, you may benefit more from a rejuvenating brow lift rather than an eyelid reductio
  • Or some patients may require both to get the appearance improvements they want to achieve.
  • Find out more by asking to see one of our Facial Rejuvenation experts such as Brow Lift and Eyelid Surgeon.

Are you ready to refresh the appearance of your eyes?

Phone us today and be sure you read our free guides before you meet with your Surgeon or Cosmetic Injector. We look forward to helping you LOOK more refreshed. And if your vision is impeded, we can help you correct this problem by reducing excess skin above your eyes.

Download the guide to Facelift Surgery

Facial Rejuvenation Guide Download
Last updated: 02/08/2021
Author profile image
Dr Richard Sackelariou - MBBS, BMedSc, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Richard Sackelariou, MBBS, FRACS/FRCS, is a leading Sydney Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon who sees patients in two locations: Double Bay, Sydney and Melbourne VIC (Australia). Dr Sackelariou offers extensive experience in attaining natural-looking, excellent surgical results for patients of all ages. Graduate of Sydney University, FRACS, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery plus additional training in Cosmetic Surgery in Paris at the Clinique Turin in 1994. BIO PAGE: Click here

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: enquiries@cocoruby.com.au or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.


Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.