Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Brow lift or blepharoplasty? Which is the best treatment for ageing eyes?

sagging eyelid treatmentIt’s said the eyes are the window to the soul. This may well be true but they’re also one of the strongest indicators of ageing. Droopy eyelids could eventually happen to us all as we grow older so it’s perhaps comforting to know that there is a range of aesthetic solutions to the problem.

Two of the most common are the brow lift or the eyelid lift (otherwise known as blepharoplasty). Both treatments can have a startling effect on ageing, taking years off you without actually looking like you’ve had work done. It’s very common for friends to comment how youthful you’re looking without actually being able to pinpoint why.

What is involved in the treatment?

A brow lift is focused only on the upper face and forehead. Classically, an incision is made on or above the hairline and the skin is pulled taut to help remove the sagging. These days most surgeons prefer a less invasive method known as an endoscopic brow lift.

Blepharoplasty involves removing or repositioning tissue from the upper eyelid and around the eyes, including any unsightly bags. There will be some scarring, but the thin skin on the eyelids typically heals very well and any incisions are typically hidden in the normal folds of the eye, so are to all intents and purposes invisible.

Although both procedures are routine they are invasive surgery and will usually be carried out under a general anaesthetic. Recovery times are similar in both cases with full recovery normally taking four to six weeks.

Which is the best treatment for sagging eyelids?

This is probably the wrong question. It probably makes sense to ask, “which treatment is more appropriate for me?” The fact is that sagging eyelids can be caused by a number of things so it’s vital to identify the source of the problem before choosing the solution. Ageing eyes can be caused by excess skin around the eyelids, a drooping forehead or a combination of both.

Determining the root cause should define the most appropriate treatment which might well be a brow lift and blepharoplasty together. It’s not just the ageing effect either that might prompt treatment. Some people are born with naturally drooping brows and there’s even a medical condition which prevents the eyelids from opening as wide as they should. In some cases, surgery may even be required to help with impaired vision where the need isn’t driven primarily by cosmetic considerations.

Your cosmetic surgeon will normally be able to tell immediately which procedure is most appropriate for you but if you want to get an indication yourself before a consultation you can try this simple test. In front of the mirror raise your forehead, using your fingers to what you feel is a natural level. If your drooping eyelids have disappeared, then you will probably just require a brow lift. If that doesn’t solve it then you might want to consider blepharoplasty too. You need to trust your own eyes sometimes.


Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

CONTACT MR HORLOCK
Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
Southampton,
Hampshire
S016 6UY
Sophie Freud - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969
info@nigelhorlock.co.uk