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.
Brow Lift 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 Brow Lift 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.
Results from a Brow Lift
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.