Browlift, Facelift, or Eyelid Surgery: Which One Works For You?

facial cosmetic surgeriesForehead lifts, Blepharoplasty and Rhytidectomy might be a Google search for those facing the aging reality and weighing the potential benefits of plastic surgery. Some of the most visible signs of aging first appear on the face. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say “you look tired” one too many times. Or maybe what you see in the mirror doesn’t reflect your age or youthfulness. Whatever the reason, you know when it’s time to bypass those miracle creams and get serious about the facial rejuvenation results you want.

The key with any facial cosmetic surgery procedure is that the person maintain their appearance, but look refreshed or younger. The goal is not to change the persons “look.” In addition, it should look natural, such that a stranger would have no idea the person ever had surgery.

Brow lift? Facelift? Eyelid surgery? Which facial procedures an individual should undergo will depend on analyzing each area and determining if the area can be improved and if the improvement is worth the cost, downtime, and risks. I have many patients that I could do the surgery on, but the improvement does not justify the cost, recovery, etc. so I tell them to wait a few more years. But, if you think you may be ready for a facial rejuvenation procedure, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss which surgery will work for you to meet your goals.

Read on to learn the differences between these three procedures, who is a good candidate for each, and view before and after photos.

Facelift: Rhytidectomy

67 year old face and neck lift

67 year old with before and after a face and neck lift

Skin loses elasticity as one ages and can cause loose skin and wrinkles to appear on the face and neck. The facelift procedure smoothes that loose skin, tightens underlying tissues and removes excess fat to make your face appear firmer and fresher. In some cases, the deeper tissues may also be repositioned to restore a more youthful contour to your face.

For best results, surgeons have begun to look past the skin and at the fat, muscle, and bone instead. They use more complex procedures as it affects the deep structures as well, which results in a more natural (less pulled) look which lasts longer than the traditional “skin-only” facelift. Your options range from a very simple skin tightening to more complex procedures depending on your case and your plastic surgeon’s preferences.

Patients that may be qualified for a facelift typically begin requesting one beginning in their 40s up to their 80s. You may be a good candidate for a facelift if you have any of the following types of conditions:

  • A deep line that runs from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth
  • Loss of a well-defined jawline
  • Deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging skin near the cheekbones
  • Loose skin, wrinkles or excess fatty tissue in the neck

Note that patients with significant medical problems, a rare skin disorder, or who smoke should discuss their options with their surgeon before committing to a facelift as it could lead to extreme complications.

Forehead Lift: Browlift

dr wigoda forehead lift

Before and after a forehead lift.

If your facial expression does not reflect how you feel, often the forehead is the main culprit. The lowering of the brow with age has a tremendous effect on the “total” look of the person and a drooping brow can create the appearance of someone looking tired, sad, bored, or angry when they are not. Raising the brow “opens” the entire eye up . As a result the person looks more refreshed, awake, and happy.

During a browlift, the surgeon modifies or removes parts of the muscles that cause wrinkling and frown lines, removes excess skin and lifts your eyebrows to a more pleasing level. In addition to elevating the brow, the plastic surgeon may address the other primary sign of aging on the forehead, namely, wrinkles.

Most commonly, a browlift is performed for patients who are over the age of 40. You may be a good candidate for forehead lift if you have any of the following types of conditions:

  • Sagging or low position of the eyebrows
  • Deep horizontal creases across the forehead
  • Frown lines, or furrows, between the eyebrows and sometimes across the top of the nose

As with a facelift, patients with significant health problems or those who are smokers and are unwilling to quit should not have this procedure.

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery: Blepharoplasty

dr. wigoda eyelid surgery

Before and after eyelid surgery.

Bright, alert eyes can make you appear energized, well-rested, youthful, and in control. However, lower-eyelid puffiness, dark circles or drooping upper lids, may give off the impression that you are fatigued, angry or unhappy when you are not.

With eyelid surgery, you can enhance features on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Depending on the procedure, excess skin, fatty tissue, and/or muscle are removed. You may also make special adjustments like redistributing the fat beneath the eye to eliminate puffiness or bulges.

You may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Excess skin that hides the natural fold of the upper lids
  • Loose skin that hangs down from the upper eyelids
  • Puffiness in the upper eyelids that creates a tired look
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelids
  • Puffy “bags” and, in some cases dark circles under the eyes

If you’re asking whether one of these three procedures will work for you, or if you’re even ready to consider one, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wigoda to learn more!

Celebrity Plastic Surgery Talk by Dr. Wigoda: Betty White Comes Clean

Fort Lauderdale’s Dr. Wigoda knows a celebrity plastic surgery patient when he sees one. Hollywood Golden Girl Betty White is the latest in a long line of celebrities to admit going under the knife – after denying it much of her career.

The 89-year-old was quoted as recently as last year saying that plastic surgery makes people “unrecognizable” and she was glad she hadn’t done it.

However, in her new memoir “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t),” the star admits to having an eyelid lift in 1976, at the age of 54. While White initially “scolded” herself for getting the procedure, she admits, “now I’m glad I did it.”

“Looking at Miss White’s before and after pictures, it’s apparent that there is a significant improvement in the eye area,” says Fort Lauderdale plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda. “Other than the eyelid lift, it doesn’t appear as if she’s had any other work done.”

Dr. Wigoda also disagrees with White’s previous stance that cosmetic surgery makes people look unnatural or unrecognizable: “Plastic surgery should enhance one’s appearance, not alter it. Miss White herself is an example of a good candidate for a procedure who did her research when selecting a plastic surgeon and enjoyed optimal – and natural-looking – results.”

Cosmetic eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, was the third most common cosmetic procedure in 2010, performed on 209,000 Americans. The surgery can be performed on the upper or lower eyelid, depending on the patient’s features and the board-certified plastic surgeon’s preferences.

To learn more about blepharoplasty, or to see before and after photos, visit Dr. Wigoda’s Fort Lauderdale plastic surgery website or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website to avoid becoming a botched surgery statistic.