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Sagging Upper Eyelids: A Brow Lift or an Eyelid Lift? 

Sagging Upper Eyelids: A Brow Lift or an Eyelid Lift? 

Droopy upper eyelids are often the result of aging. Although it’s usually seen as a cosmetic concern, it can also interfere with vision. Before taking a look at which of the two procedures may be the best solution for sagging upper eyelids, let’s find out more about them.

What is a Brow Lift?

A brow lift is a surgical procedure that is done to elevate the brows vertically. There are several techniques that can be used, but an endoscopic brow lift is a common option. The endoscopic brow lift involves the use of an endoscope, which is a small surgical probe with a camera. There is minimal scarring with this method, because fewer incisions are required.

The Procedure:

A brow lift is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. During the procedure the surgeon will adjust the underlying tissue and muscle, also removing any excess skin. There is normally some swelling and bruising after surgery, and this typically lasts for a few days. Most patients can resume regular activities within 10 days.

What is an Eyelid Lift?

An eyelid lift is also known as an eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty. It is done to tighten the upper and/or lower eyelids, rejuvenating the eye area. An upper eyelid lift involves removing lax skin from the upper eyelids to correct the draping over the eyelashes. A lower eyelid lift corrects bags below the eyes, and puffiness in the lower lids.

The Procedure:

An eyelid lift is typically done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia. The incisions for a blepharoplasty is normally made in the natural crease of the eyes, so they are virtually indiscernible after healing.  Swelling and bruising can be expected after eyelid surgery, but this should resolve within 10-14 days.

Which Procedure is Best for Sagging Upper Eyelids?

Saggy upper eyelids may be the result of lax skin in the region, or the brow descending over time. You will have to visit a board certified plastic surgeon and have an evaluation done, to determine the specific cause of the problem. Once the cause has been established, the surgeon will then be able to advise the most appropriate operation to correct the condition.

A brow lift is recommended for patients with brows that sit in a low position, but have little to no excess skin. Elevating the brows will fix the problem of sagging in the upper eyelids.

An eyelid lift is recommended for patients that have well-positioned brows, but excess skin in the upper eyelids. Too much skin in the upper eyelids often creates what’s known as a ‘hooded effect.’ This simply means that the upper eyelids are virtually invisible when the eyes are open, because the skin hangs over the lashes. Eliminating the excess skin will give the eyes a more open look, and improve the appearance of the upper eyelids.

There are instances in which patients may have a low brow and excess skin in the upper eyelids. Again, a brow lift would be recommended, because if an eyelid lift were performed, the brow would still be too close to the eyelids.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

If you have a problem with sagging upper eyelids, it’s always best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for expert advice. A comprehensive evaluation is important in order to identify the specific mechanism that’s causing the eyelids to sag. Without this type of analysis, surgery will not achieve the desired aesthetic improvement in the eyelids.

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