When it comes to surgeries for the face, you might be most familiar with, of course, the facelift. But because the anatomy of the face is intricate and complex, there are a number of other procedures we perform that can create a real impact with subtle changes to specific areas of concern. We can tailor them to each person’s facial structure and goals and help create the right treatment plan for each patient.
Because of this, it can be difficult to know which surgical procedure—or combination—to research, especially if most of your concerns are focused on the upper part of the face. The best way to learn more is to come in for a free consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons (our consultations are always free, and if you’re more comfortable having a virtual consult we are happy to make that work) so that they can assess you personally and have a thorough conversation about what you’re looking to achieve.
But that being said, it can still be super useful to do some research in advance and have some time to think about questions you might want to ask. So let’s talk about a common question we hear from prospective facial cosmetic surgery patients: brow lift, blepharoplasty or Botox?
What is a brow lift?
Sometimes called a forehead lift, a brow lift is a surgical procedure that can make use of different techniques, depending on what will work best for your goals. Ultimately, this operation lifts the skin around the forehead in order to raise the brow and to smooth out the appearance of the forehead. It helps create a more youthful, rested appearance while minimizing frown lines.
If the main things you are interested in changing are sagging skin and deep creases in the forehead area, this could be a good solution for you. It also works well if you have a low-set brow; patients with higher-set eyebrows are not great candidates for a brow lift as there is a chance that it can create a less natural-looking, permanently surprised-looking result. But every patient is different! This is why a consultation can be helpful.
The benefits: because this is a surgical procedure, the results can be impressive while still subtle and natural. Best of all, they last. Your body will continue to age and change as time goes on, but your brow lift result will be the new baseline from which your skin changes, effectively always having turned back the clock.
What’s the difference between a brow lift and an eyelid lift?
Where the brow lift deals with the area above the eyebrow, an eyelid lift is great for targeting the skin below it. Also known as blepharoplasty, it can address both the upper and lower eyelids, removing drooping or loose skin from the upper lid and eliminating puffy under-eye bags below. Eyelid lifts can similarly help to achieve a more rested, youthful or refreshed look.
A lot of our patients who are interested in this surgery are around 35 or older, and the changes they want to make are mostly related to the effects of aging. But we also meet patients who want to address hereditary droopiness or bagginess in the eyelids that typically run in their family, and these patients can be younger.
The benefits: these kinds of changes can usually only be made with surgery, since excess skin and/or fatty tissue needs to be removed. If you’re looking to make alterations to both areas above and below the brow, you can combine a brow lift with a blepharoplasty in a single operation, which means only one surgery and one recovery period.
What if I’m more interested in a non-surgical option?
Botox has a lot of different applications that might surprise you. Did you know that it can be used to create a non-surgical brow lift? By strategically placing injections into precise muscles, your injector can slightly lift the brow. When combined with other injectables in the temples and the mid-face, it creates a softened look in the same areas without the need for surgery or down time.
Like so many wonderful things, Botox and fillers don’t last forever, unfortunately. We recommend that you repeat Botox treatments every 3 to 4 months if you’d like to maintain your result. Fillers are a little longer lasting, requiring re-treatment every 6 to 12 months depending on how your body metabolizes the product. And if you decide to stop having any these injections, your brows and skin will simply return to their original state.
The benefits: on top of it being a non-surgical treatment that you could easily have on a lunch break, when it’s your first treatment, your nurse injector will be really careful and work conservatively, often underdosing initially. That’s because you’ll be booked for a two week follow up so that your injector can see how your dose has settled and make any tweaks or adjustments as needed. Your result is buildable and customizable, and if you want to change anything about it in future maintenance treatments, your injector will work with you to get the look you want.
So which option (or combo) might be right for you? If you’re still wondering about it, come see us and our experts will share their advice. You’ll be able to check out a broader collection of our before and after photos and ask all of your questions. We’d love to meet you!