Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift is a surgical procedure performed to reduce signs of aging on the eyebrows and/or forehead. It may also treat certain hereditary facial features. A brow lift is commonly performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as a facelift, to provide a balanced, youthful appearance to the face.
Candidates For A Brow Lift
Candidates for brow lift surgery typically have deep horizontal creases across their forehead, frown lines between their eyebrows or across their nose, and/or sagging eyebrows, leaving them with a tired or sad appearance. Individuals seeking a brow lift often feel that they do not look as young as they feel.
YOUR BLEPHAROPLASTY CONSULTATION
During your brow lift consultation, your plastic surgeon will perform a physical examination, review your medical history, and discuss your desired goals from this procedure. He or she will evaluate the thickness, texture and elasticity of your facial skin, the structure of your facial bones and skin, the overall appearance of your eyebrows and eyelids, and the position of your eyebrows. Your plastic surgeon will use this information to determine the most appropriate surgical approach, which will be explained to you in great detail.
Common Brow Lift Techniques
Traditionally, brow lift surgery involved a large incision across the top of the forehead. Advancements in technology have led to the endoscopic technique, in which three to five small incisions are made across the forehead behind the hairline. These shorter incisions allow for a shorter recovery time when compared to the traditional brow lift technique. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will explain the exact approach he or she will use for your brow lift procedure.
Preparing For Brow Lift Surgery
Patients that smoke are advised to stop smoking several weeks before brow lift surgery to improve post-operative healing. Be sure to advise your plastic surgeon of all medications and supplements you are currently taking, as some of them may have to be temporarily stopped before the procedure. Patients undergoing brow lift on an outpatient basis will need a friend or relative to drive them home afterwards, and to remain with them for the first night.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
Brow lift surgery usually takes about one to two hours to perform, and may take place at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite, or an ambulatory center. Either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation will be used for this procedure; your plastic surgeon will choose the best option for you. Depending on the surgical technique used, an incision or series of small incisions are made across the forehead. Then, the tissue and muscle underneath the skin are moved or repositioned as necessary. At the end of the procedure, the incisions are closed with sutures, screws, adhesives, or surgical tape, and you will be moved to a recovery area for observation.
Recovery After A Brow Lift
Most patients return home the same day as their brow lift, although an overnight stay may be necessary for some. Swelling may be pronounced for the first day or two after surgery, although most swelling goes away within two weeks. To prevent post-operative bleeding, you should refrain from bending or heavy lifting for the first few days after your brow lift. It may take up to six months for all swelling to fully subside and for all scars to fade.
Brow Lift Results
Depending on your pre-surgical appearance and your goals, the results of your brow lift may either be subtle or dramatic. Within a few weeks after surgery, your results should be noticeable. To maintain the results of your brow lift, it is important that you use sunscreen when spending time in the sun and refrain from smoking.
Risks Associated With A Brow Lift
Brow lift surgery is a relatively safe procedure; however, most procedures carry a slight risk of complications. Although they rarely occur, these risks may include adverse reactions to anesthesia, injury to facial tissue, and hematoma (accumulation of blood under the skin). You can minimize the occurrence of complications by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your brow lift.
How Can a Brow Lift Improve My Appearance?
Your brow lift is a customized procedure that is designed around your facial anatomy, natural brow position, and desired outcome. This procedure can address multiple concerns at once depending on the technique that Dr. Smith uses. These include:
- Worry lines. Interestingly, when the brows start to descend, you might naturally use certain muscles to lift them as you go about your day. This tugs on the skin higher up on the forehead and can result in horizontal lines that we call worry lines.
- Frown lines. Like worry lines, frown lines are caused by the repetitive movement of the muscles over the eyes.
- Crow's feet. The brow lift may not completely eliminate all of the fine lines around your eyes, but it is known to significantly reduce the appearance of crow's feet that occur as the tissue at the lateral part of the eyebrows starts to sag.
- Eyelid folds. When your eyebrows drop too far below their normal position at the upper orbital rim, this presses downward on the soft tissue of the upper eyelids. Excessive folding can make your eyes look hooded and tired.
How Does a Brow Lift Differ From Eyelid Rejuvenation?
Brow lift surgery is similar to blepharoplasty, the surgical eyelid rejuvenation procedure that is commonly performed today, but not the same thing. The similarity is only that, in select cases, the brow lift can refresh the appearance of the eyes by reducing hooding caused by the brows pushing down on the eyelids. If the tissue that makes up your upper eyelids is lax and loose, chances are your brow lift will have a limited effect on them. Blepharoplasty is performed on the eyelids themselves, via incisions made at the crease of the upper eyelids. Surgical eyelid rejuvenation focuses only on the eyelids themselves, so will not reduce lines and wrinkles at the corners of the eyes.
What is the Best Age to Have a Brow Lift?
Many people ask about the best time or best age for a brow lift. This is situation-dependent. Dr. Smith doesn't base your treatment plan on your age. The best results are achieved by assessing your case via your current appearance and desired improvements. You may be in your thirties and be a great candidate for a brow lift due to naturally low-lying brows. You may be in your sixties and be a great candidate due to the natural changes that have occurred with age.
Are the Results of a Brow Lift Permanent?
Brow lift surgery can reverse the signs of aging and restore a beautiful, natural brow position through the tightening of your forehead muscles. Reversal is one thing, stopping the hands of time is another. After your brow lift, your natural aging process will continue and, at some point, your forehead muscles and skin will weaken. That said, the effects of aging don't mean you'll need another brow lift in the future. While every case is different, we generally expect the results of a brow lift to last 10 years or longer.
Schedule Your Brow Lift Consult with Dr. Smith
If you are interested in learning more about our Brow Lift surgery or if you wish to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure, please feel free to book a personalized consult with Okatie's top plastic surgeon Dr. Brendan E. Smith! Call (843) 705-8940 or fill out the appointment request form below. Our practice serves Okatie, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, and the surrounding areas of South Carolina.