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Brow Lift vs Eyelid Surgery

Woman with closed eyes having pre-surgical markings drawn around her eyes.

Both a blepharoplasty and a brow lift can make your eyes look more rested and youthful, but a blepharoplasty addresses the skin of the eyelid while a brow lift addresses the brow. To create the appearance of more youthful, animated, and lifted eyes, many people will opt for eyelid surgery, also referred to as blepharoplasty, or a brow lift. The choice often depends on the patient’s age, the depth of their concerns, and their aesthetic goals.

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty - Before and After Gallery – Photo 1
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is commonly performed on patients who want to get rid of a tired appearance brought on by heavy, sagging eyelids and under-eye bags. Blepharoplasty procedure can also enhance the symmetry of your eyelids, improve vision, and remove excess skin from the upper eyelid space to reduce fat bulges, excess tissue, and make eyes look more animated and youthful.

What is a Brow Lift?

Brow lift before and after image
The aim of a brow lift surgery is to reposition the eyebrows to achieve a younger appearance, suitable for people with hooded eyes or sagging eyebrows caused by aging. Constantly having to raise your eyebrows can cause fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead, and sagging eyebrows can give your face an angry or tired look. Seeing may be difficult, along with applying makeup.

A brow lift can refresh the appearance of the eye area, and most patients undergo a combination of a brow lift and blepharoplasty to rejuvenate the whole face.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Each Procedure?

Genes and age are the most common contributing factors to sagging skin on the eyelids and brows. A blepharoplasty procedure corrects various conditions around the eyes related to age, such as hollowness and drooping. A brow lift can create a lifted, youthful appearance to the upper eyes and forehead.
You’re a great candidate for either procedure if you:

  • Are physically healthy.
  • Don’t smoke, or are willing to smoke for a month during the time of your procedure.
  • Have realistic goals and expectations of your procedure.

When not to have a Blepharoplasty?

If you just want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you may want to opt for a less invasive option like injectables or fillers. Additionally, the appearance of sagging in the upper eyelid is often due to sagging of the brow area, meaning a brow lift may be a better option than a blepharoplasty. As mentioned above, combining these procedures can give you optimal results.

When not to have a Brow Lift Surgery?

If your brow sits higher naturally, a brow lift is usually not recommended as it puts you into a permanent state of surprise, visually. If you want to avoid invasive procedures altogether, you can seek out injectables or fillers that can raise the brows. Do not seek out a brow lift if you smoke or have unrealistic expectations of your results.

Differences between Eyelid Surgery and Brow Lift

If your primary concern is heaviness in the upper eyelid, then eyelid surgery is likely the best option for you. If you feel your brow descending and pushing skin into the eyelid, you should opt for a brow lift. A normal eyebrow and eyelid position is different for everyone and depends on various factors, such as age, ethnicity, and sex. In both cases, Dr. Bell wants to preserve your natural beauty as much as possible and enhance your youthful appearance.

The relationship between the eyebrows and the eyelids is delicate. You will not know which procedure you require unless you book a consultation with SpaMedica to express your concerns, goals, and areas you would like to treat. In some cases, if the signs of aging are more severe, a combination of the two treatments can be ideal.

When is the right age for a brow lift or blepharoplasty?

A brow lift is often performed on older patients, while a blepharoplasty can be used to reduce signs of aging or as an “asian eyelid surgery”, creating deeper contours within the upper eyelids to make the eyes look more animated and awake. Some people are born with heavier eyelids and want them to be lifted, while other people just want to refresh and rejuvenate their appearance. Therefore, so long as you are over 18, talk with Dr. Bell and his esteemed team about any concerns you may have!

Why Choose SpaMedica

SpaMedica is much more than a beautiful facility in an exceptional location. Our state-of-the-art laser equipment, procedure rooms, surgical suite, recovery and overnight rooms exceed the highest levels of certification. Our comfortable reception and laser treatment areas provide a welcoming, pleasant environment for all of our patients. Book your consultation today.


How do I know when I need eyelid surgery or a brow lift?

A blepharoplasty is often recommended for sagging eyelids. Brow lifts are also recommended for sagging brows and to make the face look less tired or angry. A combination of both procedures can be performed to help you achieve a refreshed, youthful look.
This decision will be made by you and your surgeon, who will assess your facial structure, medical history, and goals to give you an expert opinion of which treatment pathway you should take. Regardless, you should seek out professional advice from your surgeon and find a solution that is right for you.

What is the recovery for eyelid surgery or a brow lift like?

Both surgeries involve a recovery time between seven and ten days, so try to not schedule any major events for several weeks following your surgery. You can take pain medication if you have any discomfort as prescribed by your surgeon.
During your brow lift recovery, your head may be wrapped to minimize swelling and bruising. A thin tube may be present to drain excess fluids collecting under the skin, and Dr. Bell will tell you how to care for surgical sites and drain, which medications you can take, and when your follow-up appointment(s) will be.

During your blepharoplasty recovery, you will need to avoid touching your eyes, keep your sutures clean, and keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. Avoid direct sunlight and harsh chemicals in face washes or makeup for the first week.

What is the difference between upper and lower eyelid surgery?

Blepharoplasty addresses sagging eyelids, eliminating excess skin and tightening the remaining skin to give you a youthful, alert appearance. Upper blepharoplasty can remove excess fat and tissue, helping to improve vision if your view is obstructed by sagging eyelids. Lower blepharoplasty is great to treat drooping skin or puffiness underneath the eyes, eliminating baggy/wrinkled skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and excess fat.

Dr. Thomas Bell | SpaMedica

by Dr. Thomas Bell

Dr. Tom Bell, with over 25 years of practice experience dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery, pioneered Avenue Road and Yorkville as Toronto’s Beverly Hills of plastic surgery with his first surgical center in Yorkville’s Avenue road corridor back in 1986. Named as Canada’s best plastic surgeon by W magazine and one of the world’s best, Dr. Bell returns home to join the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery team as the reigning King of Plastic Surgery.
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