What is the difference between a facelift and a brow lift?

Would you like to look as young as you feel? A facelift or brow lift can tighten and tone your skin, and give you the younger-looking face you desire. But what is the difference between a facelift and a brow lift, and how can you decide which is the right procedure for you. We provide some helpful information below.

About Facial aging

The face loses definition over time, and the brows and forehead are often the first areas to change. The loss of skin elasticity causes the facial skin and tissue to descend and the eyebrows also droop, giving the face a tired, angry appearance. The decline in skin elasticity also leads to the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and jowls, causing the face to lose its youthful contours.

What is the difference between a facelift and a brow lift?

Although a facelift is designed to rejuvenate the face, it does not treat all the areas of the face. A facelift focuses on the lower two-thirds of the face, chiefly the cheeks and the area below it. It tightens the skin and reduces wrinkles around the mouth (nasolabial folds), jowls, and upper neck, but does not correct sagging brows or forehead wrinkles and creases. However, a brow lift can fix these concerns and rejuvenate the upper face.

In order to better understand the differences between a facelift and a brow lift, it is helpful to take a closer look at both procedures.

What can a facelift do?

A facelift is done to address sagging skin, jowls, loss of volume in the cheeks, and wrinkles around the mouth. It tightens the muscles of the face for an overall rejuvenated appearance.

Facelift Surgery

Modern facelift techniques that tighten the underlying deep tissue or SMAS layer produce long-lasting results. When the muscles and tissue in this area are lifted and repositioned, the results look a lot more natural.

The incisions for facelift surgery are typically made in the hairline. They start at each temple and extend down around the ears. This allows the surgeon to access the tissues of the face, as well as the underlying muscles. The skin is also tightened to correct midface sagging, jowls, and wrinkles around the mouth.

Some improvement may be evident immediately after facelift surgery, but it can take 6 months for optimal results to be seen.

What can a brow lift do?

A brow lift corrects droopy brows, as well as deep wrinkles and folds between the brows. It also improves the appearance of sagging upper eyelids that occurs as a result of the descent of the brows from their usual position. A brow lift also restores the natural arch of the brow, which gives the face a more open, refreshed appearance.

Brow lift surgery

There are several techniques that can be used to perform a brow lift, but the endoscopic brow lift is the most common choice.

An endoscopic brow lift requires smaller incisions, when compared to the traditional, coronal brow lift. The procedure is done with the assistance of an endoscope, which is a medical instrument that has a miniature camera on one end, which allows the surgeon to get a clear view of the treatment zone. During the procedure the underlying muscles are adjusted, in order to lift sagging brows.

The endoscopic brow lift is often preferred by surgeons because there is minimal swelling and scarring after surgery, and less downtime.

Which is the right procedure for you?

It should be very clear by now that a facelift does not treat the entire face, so if you are experiencing aging in the upper third of the face, you will need a brow lift to rejuvenate the area.

Plastic surgeons sometimes recommend a facelift in combination with a brow lift, in order to achieve optimal facial rejuvenation. This is generally the best route for patients that have wrinkles and other general signs of aging throughout their face.

If you are not sure if a facelift or browlift is the right procedure for you, it’s best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

If you are in the Raleigh & Durham, NC areas, contact double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Adam Stein, MD for a consultation.

Call (919) 585-5777 today to schedule an appointment.

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