Forehead (Brow) Lift Versus Eye Lift (Blepharoplasty)

When considering facial surgery, one of the most common questions asked is whether a forehead lift or an eye lift is the most appropriate procedure to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the upper face. At The Kole Plastic Surgery Center, forehead lifts and blepharoplasty procedures are often performed in conjunction, but it is important for prospective patients to understand the differences between the procedures so they can obtain the desired results from their surgery.

A forehead lift’s primary target is lifting the position of the eyebrows in order to reduce the horizontal wrinkles along the forehead. These furrows tend to make people look sad, angry, or old, so a forehead lift repositions the eyebrows upwards to create a younger and more positive expression when the face is at rest. Dr. Kole performs this surgery either with incisions or endoscopically, but both variations of the procedure gently pull the forehead and eyebrows superiorly towards the hairline to create a more taught, alert aesthetic appearance to the upper half of the face.

An eye lift, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure in which the excess skin and fat around the upper and lower eyelids are shaped and removed to create a younger, revitalized look around the eyes. This procedure reduces the look of “bags under your eyes” as well as fine wrinkles and drooping eyelids. This procedure can make eyes look more alert and contoured by reducing the skin around the eyelids that previously covered parts of the eye. Eye lifts are not only performed as aesthetic procedures, but are also considered medical procedures when the skin from the eyelid is interfering with the patient’s eye sight.

Forehead lifts will diminish wrinkles across the forehead transversely, and will reposition the eyebrows, which affects the appearance of the upper portion of the face. In contrast, blepharoplasty affects the area of the eyelids more directly, and therefore this procedure has the ability to address very specific fine lines and fat deposits around the eyes, whereas a forehead lift will smooth out wrinkles more generally by moving the entire forehead upwards towards the hairline. For this reason, forehead lifts and blepharoplasty are often performed together at The Kole Plastic Surgery Center in order to give patients both the overall younger look across their upper face as well as a more detailed, defined look around the eyes.

For some patients, especially those who are younger and therefore do not have furrowing around the forehead associated with aging, the goal of surgery is to remove puffiness from under the eyes or remove excess droopy skin and extra fat of the upper lids. In that case, those patients select just a blepharoplasty to correct the eye deformity without changing the appearance of their entire upper face. Often patients will report that after a blepharoplasty without brow lift, people will comment on their youthful, refreshed look but will not be able to pinpoint what changed. Conversely, brow lifts are most commonly done on patients ages 40-65 years old in order to regain the youthful look of their past. In those cases, a brow lift with a blepharoplasty is the recommended procedure.