A brow lift also termed as a forehead lift, is a cosmetic procedure that can rejuvenate the face above the eyes, giving one a more refreshed appearance. It removes any excess sagging, any excess skin on the forehead and repositions the underlying muscles and tissues.
You can choose to go for a brow lift if you have low, sagging brows or brow symmetry. A brow lift can not only boost your self-confidence but give you a smoother and more youthful appearance.
This procedure can be done alone or with other cosmetic procedures such as eyelid surgery or face-lift.
An aging forehead has an effect on our facial expressions, due to which one might look constantly tired, worried or even angry. Some people are also genetically inclined to have a heavier, thicker brow, which can make them appear as if they are frowning even when they are feeling their best. Such issues can be directly addressed by a brow lift, as it helps patients have a refreshed appearance.
First, you will need to talk to a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon regarding a brow lift. During your first visit, your surgeon can do any of the following:
Review your medical history: You might need to answer a few questions regarding your current and past medical conditions. You need to inform your doctor about any medications you’re taking or have taken recently, as well as about any surgeries you’ve had. If you have any kind of allergy to medications, you need to inform your doctor as well.
Do a physical exam: For determining your options for treatment, the doctor will need to examine as well as to measure various parts of your face with your eyes open and closed. The doctor may need to take photographs as well for your medical record.
Discuss your expectations: You need to explain why you require a brow lift and what you’re expecting in terms of appearance after the procedure. Talk about your doctor regarding the benefits and risks.
Before going through the surgery, you may need to:
Stop smoking: Smoking decreases the blood flow in your skin, which slows down the healing process. Therefore, if you smoke, your doctor might recommend you to stop it during the period prior to your surgery and also during the recovery period.
Avoid certain medications: You’ll need to avoid taking aspirin, herbal supplements as well as anti-inflammatory drugs, as it can increase bleeding.
Arrange for help during recovery: It is best if you can arrange for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you the first night of your recovery at home.
A brow lift can be done in a hospital or at even an outpatient surgical facility. During the procedure, you will be typically rendered unconscious with the help of general anesthesia.
Depending on the results that you desire, the techniques for brow lift can vary. The specific techniques which your surgeon can choose will be determining the location of the incisions as well as the resulting scars.
Your doctor will likely be using any of the following techniques:
Endoscopic brow lift: In this technique, your surgeon makes multiple small incisions behind your hairline. Then he/she will be inserting a long tube with a light and a tiny camera mounted on it, through one of the incisions as this will aid them in viewing your underlying muscles and tissues.
With the help of an instrument inserted through another incision, your surgeon will be lifting your forehead tissues and then anchor them in place with sutures, small screws or another technique. After this, your incisions are closed with small clips or stitches.
Coronal brow lift: In this technique, your surgeon will be making an incision behind your hairline across the top of your head, from ear to ear or it might be primarily on the top of your head. He/she will lift your forehead into a new position with the scalp in front of the incision overlapping the scalp behind it.
The overlapping scalp will then be removed, after which the remaining scalp is sewn together. This technique is not usually for people who have high hairlines, thin hair or people who are likely to lose their hair.
Hairline brow lift: This procedure involves your surgeon making an incision between the top of your forehead and the beginning of your hairline. He/she will be removing a small amount of skin and tissue from the top of your forehead, rather than the scalp. Therefore, your hairline will not be pulled back. This technique is usually preferred if someone has a high receding hairline. However, a scar might be visible in some cases, along the hairline.
The surgery usually takes up to one to two hours.
After the procedure, your forehead may be loosely wrapped for minimizing swelling. A small tube might also be placed along with the incision site for draining any excess blood or fluid.
You will receive specific instructions from your doctor on how to care for the incisions. For the first few days you might be advised to:
- Keep your head elevated during rest and take pain medication that your doctor recommends
- Apply cold compresses to relieve the swelling
- Do not expose your incisions to excessive pressure or motion
As the incisions heal, you might sometimes experience itching and numbness, which should lessen over time. If your incisions are covered in bandages, your doctor may remove them within a short time after the surgery. The sutures are usually removed within seven to ten days of surgery.
You can ask your doctor when it’s okay for you to resume your daily activities, such as washing, drying your hair and taking a shower. However, also keep in mind that the swelling can last for some weeks.
Over time, the incision lines will fade away. You might use any makeup for concealing any prolonged bruising.
After the procedure, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeats
- Chest pain
A brow lift can pose various risks, such as:
Scarring: Scarring can be visible sometimes after the procedure.
Changes in skin sensation: A brow lift might cause numbness temporarily or permanently on the forehead or on top of the scalp.
Hair problems: A brow lift might sometimes lead to an elevated hairline or hair loss at the incision site. If the hair loss does not resolve on its own, you have the option to treat it with scar excision or hair grafting.
Asymmetry in the position of the brows: A brow lift can sometimes result in asymmetry, with one or both of the eyebrows appearing higher than needed. However, asymmetry can sometimes even out during your healing process. You can treat persistent brow shape or position problems through additional surgery as well.
Like all other major surgeries, a brow lift also poses a risk of infection, bleeding and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
Although the results of a brow-lift can last for several years, if it is performed by an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon, it will not stop your normal aging process. Eventually, your forehead tissues will begin to settle with time. However, you can slow your aging process, by living a healthy lifestyle, and reducing smoking and alcohol.