Difference Between Upper and Lower Eyelid Lifts

Remember when you were younger and felt a certain freedom to rub your eyes vigorously and often? And then an older relative would revile you for doing so; warning you of the ills of such an action?

Turns out they were right. By now, you’ve more than likely come to the realization that the skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate. Especially if you’re experiencing sagging and wrinkling there.

What’s worse is that the muscles that support the eyelids may have also become weakened and lax with age causing drooping, puffiness, and dark circles. The good news is – upper and lower eyelid lifts can turn back the hands of time. Well, sorta.

Upper and Lower Eyelid Lifts

The umbrella medical term for eyelid lifts is blepharoplasty. Depending on a patient’s needs, a highly skilled plastic surgeon will recommend either an upper eyelid lift or a lower eyelid lift. In some cases, he or she may recommend both – known as a quad blepharoplasty.

All three procedures deliver a dramatically more youthful appearance to the eyes. As such, blepharoplasty surgery is among the most commonly performed procedures.

So what’s the difference between an upper blepharoplasty and a lower one? We’ll take a look (no pun intended).

When You Need a Lower Eyelid Lift

If you’re of a certain age, you’ve probably noticed lines and wrinkles around the lower eyes. There may even be sagging skin, puffiness, and ‘bags’ under the eyes. This is the result of fat or fluid that has dropped into the lower eyelid and created a heaviness and drooping.

For patients with lines, wrinkles, sagging, or bags in the under-eye area, the recommendation would be a lower eyelid lift. The procedure for each patient depends on individual eye anatomy and the results one hopes to achieve. The two most common approaches utilize either an external approach or a transconjunctival approach.

With the external approach, excess fat and skin are removed through an incision made just below the lower eyelashes. If there are hollow areas beneath the eyes, excess fat from the eyelid may be repositioned. The cheek may also be lifted to fill that space. In addition, where there is muscular weakness, the lower eyelid is tightened to improve strength.

Meanwhile, the objective of the transconjunctival approach is to remove or reposition excess fat working through an incision made just inside the eyelid. This is a more direct approach and is often favored for younger patients or for those for whom muscle weakness is not an issue.

When an Upper Eyelid Lift Is Recommended

An upper eyelid lift procedure is less involved than a lower eyelid surgery.

As you likely guessed, an upper blepharoplasty would be recommended where there is sagging skin, excess fat, or loose muscle along the upper eyelids as opposed to the lower eyelids. In these situations, the drooping can be significant enough to block or obstruct vision to some degree. This condition is known as ptosis.

For an upper blepharoplasty, excess skin, muscle, and sometimes fat are removed through a small incision in the upper eyelid. If needed, the muscles above the eye will also be repositioned before the skin is lifted and reattached. Since the incision is made in the crease above the eye, any resulting scarring is hidden once healing is complete.

Although a simpler process than the lower eyelid lift, it’s not unusual for a surgeon to also recommend a brow lift in tandem with an upper eyelid lift to provide significant improvement.

Bring Brightness to Your Eyes

Yes, youth is wasted on the young. No need to lament those days of eye-rubbing though. What’s done is done. Instead, take advantage of the wondrous results from upper and lower eyelid lifts.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and you’ll see how easy it is to bring back some youthful sparkle and radiance to those peepers.