Browlift or Eyelid Surgery?

Sagging upper eyelids can have a number of causes. Chronic lack of sleep, natural aging, and some medical conditions (such as an overactive thyroid gland) can make the upper eyelids appear saggy and puffy. While cosmetic surgery to lift the upper eyelids (blepharoplasty) may appear to be the most obvious solution for this condition, a full browlift may be another option to correct sagging brows. Much of this decision will depend upon the position of the brows and upper eyelid skin.


A browlift is the better choice if the brows sit low on the face. Low brows will sit below the level of the bone above the eye. If this is the case, a browlift may resolve the issue of sagging upper eyelids by lifting not only the eyelids but the entire brow.

In a browlift procedure, incisions are made just at the hairline along the upper portion of the face, and then the skin and underlying tissue are gently lifted and tightened before being re-attached. Unlike a full facelift, in which the incisions extend from the ear and down along the hairline, the browlift only focuses on the forehead, so the incisions are made in this area.

The biggest advantage of a browlift procedure is that it can help lift sagging eyelids while at the same time tightening up the forehead skin, which can also remove worry lines and other creases. The biggest disadvantage of a browlift procedure is that if the brows are lifted too high, the patient runs the risk of having a permanently startled expression on the face.

Upper Eyelid Lift Procedure

This procedure is preferred over a browlift if the brow sits in the proper position on the face and has not drooped downward. In this case, all that needs to be lifted are the upper eyelids, so the brows will remain in their natural position.

In an upper eyelid lift procedure, tiny incisions are made in the crease of the upper lid, so that they are barely noticeable. The eyelid skin is then gently lifted, tightened, and then re-attached.

The biggest advantage for an upper eyelid lift rather than a full browlift to treat sagging upper eyelids is that an eyelid lift is a much less extensive procedure, which will result in almost no scarring. Unlike a browlift procedure, the upper eyelid lift is very subtle. People may remark that patients look refreshed, without being able to determine precisely the cause for the youthful appearance.

Ultimately, the determination as to whether to select a browlift or an eyelid lift to correct for sagging upper eyelids will be a collaborative effort between the patient and the cosmetic surgeon. During the consultation, patients and their surgeons can discuss goals, options, and aesthetics to rejuvenate the eyes and face and give them a younger, fresher glow. To schedule your eyelid surgery or browlift consultation, contact Dr. Paul Pin's practice in Dallas. Dr. Pin can determine which surgical approach is best suited to your needs.