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Eyelid Surgery vs. Brow Lift: A Guide

It’s a common misconception that eyelid surgery and brow lifts are the same thing– in reality, they are two separate surgical procedures, each with its own benefits. During your personalized consultation, your board-certified plastic surgeon will help you determine the right surgical approach for your goals and expectations. In the meantime, it can be helpful to know what blepharoplasty or brow lift entails and how each unique procedure can help restore a youthful appearance.

Blepharoplasty vs. Brow Lift

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can correct sagging skin, bags, and bulges around the eyes as well as drooping eyelids. By choosing to remove excess skin patients can restore a more rested and youthful appearance. Upper blepharoplasty, or the upper eyelid lift, is performed by making an incision in the natural crease of each eyelid. Sagging eyelids and excess skin are removed through these incisions, which are closed with fine sutures. Over time, the scars fade and are hidden in the creases of the eyelids.

In lower eyelid surgery, the incisions are made either in the lash lines or on the inside of the eyelids. Excess skin and fat that cause puffiness are removed through an incision made inside the lower eyelids. Minimal to no visible scarring results from this procedure– oftentimes, the lower and upper eyelids are operated on in a combination surgical procedure.

A forehead or brow lift moves the eyebrows back to where they should be, which is at or above the bony orbit. The lift may also smooth the wrinkles in the forehead as well as reduce drooping skin above the eyes. As a result of the surgery, the eyes appear more open, rested, and youthful.

Know What to Expect from Recovery

After eyelid or brow lift surgery, you will have a 10–15-pound lifting restriction (that will include lifting children) for at least two weeks following surgery. You also have to make adjustments at work due to swelling, bruising, and being on pain medication. On average, patients take a week to ten days off work. Patients with physically demanding jobs, or those who are in the public eye because of their job requirements, may need to take more time off to heal. Brow lift patients at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, on average, had bruising for 1-2 weeks.

Determine Your Goals for Surgery

If your goal is to look more youthful, both of these procedures can achieve great results. However, they generally achieve these goals in different ways. For example, eyelid surgery can remove bags and heavy fat pads above and below the eyes for a brighter, more rested look. On the other hand, a brow lift can smooth lines and reduce sagging while lifting a brow that has dropped over time. Knowing your end goal for surgery can help you select the best procedure for you.

Look For a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

The best surgeons are those who have had many years of experience in your chosen procedure. Look for plastic surgeons with many years of experience in facial cosmetic surgery. They should be able to provide before-and-after photos of procedures they’ve performed and also make you feel comfortable and informed about your choice. At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, our two surgeons have extensive experience in facial anatomy which allows them to provide a youthful, natural-looking result.

Consider Your Options with Insurance Coverage

Eyelid surgery is one of the rare cosmetic surgeries that can sometimes be covered by insurance in cases where it impedes your vision significantly. If this is the case, make sure to speak with your insurance provider for specifics on obtaining coverage and if a pre-authorization is needed before your consultation. Your plastic surgeon can then help you create the right treatment plan to fit your goals. Brow lifts are not usually covered by insurance and you’ll likely be responsible for the full cost of your procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more and discuss your options with our board-certified plastic surgeons, contact Heartland Plastic Surgery by calling us at 573-334-4263 or filling out our online form.

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