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Brow Lift and Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) – What’s The Difference

By: Dr. Ganchi

 

Though frequently performed at the same time, the brow lift and eyelid lift are two distinct procedures.

Brow Lift

The brow and the muscles in the brow do much to communicate our emotions. Worry, cheerfulness, anger, and surprise are just a few of the feelings that we display, at least in part, by the look of the forehead, or brow.

As we age, wrinkles, creases, and lines begin to form on the forehead and near the eyebrows. These alterations in the smoothness of the brow can make a person look grouchy, tired, angry or just older than they should.

When the brow falls below the bone around the upper part of the eye, the upper eyelid may begin to look full and heavy. Although it may appear that the patient needs eyelid surgery to eliminate this extra skin, actually what they need is to have the brow lifted.

A brow lift repositions the brow to align better with the face and also raises the position of the eyebrows from where they’ve dropped because of gravity and aging.

With a brow lift, the heavy horizontal and vertical lines across the forehead and between the eyes can be reduced or eliminated.

Brows that have become “heavy” and eyes that over time have begun to look tired can be made to take on a lighter and more youthful appearance with a lift.

There are many different brow lift techniques.  What’s more important than the exact technique is the skill and experience of the plastic surgeon applying the technique.  Make sure that your surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery and is familiar with brow lift surgery.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid, or both. As a person ages, he or she can begin to look tired simply because of loose skin around their eyes, small wrinkles, and puffiness that creates “bags” under the eyes.

Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty

Both lower and upper eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on the body. This is one reason the eyes are so apt to show signs of aging.

The skin of the lower lids can become both thin and wrinkled, while the fat around the eyes descends into the lid, creating the puffiness known as “bags” under the eyes. This collection of fat causes dark shadows on the lower lids, which are often referred to as having dark “circles” under the eyes. All of this causes the person to look older, more tired and less attractive than they would otherwise.

During a traditional lower eyelid blepharoplasty, excess skin and fat are removed from the lower eyelid. This produces a smooth contour to the eyelid. However, this result can still look tired and older as the emptiness under the eye has not been addressed. With a newer technique of lipoinjection, or fat injection, the patient’s own fat is harvested and injected into the hollows under the eyes. This completes the picture by restoring a youthful fullness under the eyes in addition to tightening the loose skin.  Adding volume using fat creates a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

The lower eyelid procedure is normally done under IV sedation and with local anesthesia. A small incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid to allow access for the removal of excess bulging fat. After removing the fat bulges, any loose skin is taken care of to remove wrinkles in the lower eyelid. During this procedure laser resurfacing can also be done to help tighten and improve the texture of the lower eyelid skin. Finally, fat is removed from areas where there is excess fat, purified, and injected to fill out the hollows under the eyes and in the cheeks.

The patient’s eyes will be swollen and bruised for a few days and ice packs should be used to help reduce the swelling. You’ll be given detailed after-surgery instructions before you return home.

Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty

After liposuction, the upper eyelid blepharoplasty is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in the United States.

The upper eyelid tends to be affected by a different set of problems than the lower eyelid. As one ages, excess skin can develop above the upper lid giving the eyes a hooded appearance.

The fat that cushions the upper eyelid will sometimes start to protrude resulting in a tired and “older” look. If very severe, this can get so bad that it starts to impede your vision.

Like the lower eyelid procedure, an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure normally done with local anesthesia and IV sedation. However, in some patients, this procedure can be done with just local anesthesia with the patient awake. This can be determined after a discussion with your surgeon.

During the procedure, the excess skin is removed either with a surgical blade or a laser. The prominent fat pad in the upper eyelid by the nose may also be trimmed.

Some bruising and swelling should be expected for several days following an upper eyelid blepharoplasty. Patients are asked to place ice over the eyelids for the first few days to help decrease any bruising and swelling. You will usually experience little or no pain following your surgery. Sometimes the patient will experience some eye dryness, which is easily treated with an artificial tear solution.

In some cases, the brow must also be lifted to give a rejuvenated appearance to the upper part of the face and eyelids.

Both a brow lift and eyelid surgeries can be performed here at Dr. Ganchi’s state-of-the-art private outpatient surgical suite and each takes about an hour.

As with all procedures, when having a brow lift or blepharoplasty, it’s important to choose your plastic surgeon wisely. Having the proper training, education, experience, and certification is vital. You’ll also want to make sure that your surgeon has a good understanding of your concerns and your goals regarding your brow lift or eyelid surgery.

Please give us a call here at Ganchi Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation. Dr. Ganchi will be happy to talk to you about your concerns and the changes you’re looking for. You’ll be shown before and after pictures of surgeries he has performed and together you’ll plan your treatment program.

 

Harvard trained, board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ganchi and staff lavish you with attention and make your experience enjoyable and comfortable.

WE INVITE YOU TO CALL OUR NEW JERSEY OFFICE AT 973-942-6600.


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