Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift is a surgical procedure performed to improve the position of the eyebrows. This can help reduce signs of aging in the forehead area such as brow drooping or forehead lines and wrinkles. By repositioning the brow the eyes can appear more open, friendly and well rested.
Common Brow-Lift Techniques
There are different techniques used for performing brow lifts and the optimal procedure for you depends on many factors. Dr. Caceres will discuss the pros and cons of each approach with you during your consultation and help you choose the best option for you.
The "trichial lift" incorporates an incision that runs along the hairline at the top of the forehead then courses into the hairline on the sides. This approach allows the brows to be accurately positioned but also allows the level of the hairline to be controlled. This allows the forehead to be "reduced" while lifting the brows. This incision can also be used to reduce the forehead without changing the position of the brows if so desired. The caveat to this approach is that the patient should have a well defined and thick hairline in order to hide the incision.
The endoscopic brow lift requires five small incisions that are made in the hair so they are inconspicuous. Using telescopes the brow is then lifted from underneath the skin in order to achieve the desired result. These shorter incisions mean a shorter recovery time and less scarring than those from a traditional brow lift. The forehead height cannot be changed with this approach and the patient must have thick enough hair to hide the incisions.
Which technique is chosen depends on the thickness, texture and elasticity of the skin, the bone structure of the face, the overall appearance of eyebrows and eyelids, and the position of the eyebrows.
The Brow-Lift Procedure
Brow-lift surgery usually takes about one to three hours to perform, and takes place in an operating room. Either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation is used. Depending on the surgical technique used, an incision is made in the skin to access the brow. Tissue and muscle underneath the skin are moved or repositioned as necessary. At the end of the procedure, the incision(s) is meticulously closed with suture. Postsurgery, the patient is moved to a recovery area for observation.
Recovery from a Brow Lift
A patient typically returns home on the day of the brow-lift surgery, 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 2 weeks. To prevent post-operative bleeding, bending and heavy lifting should be avoided for a few days. It can take up to 6 months for swelling to fully subside and scars to fade. Scalp numbness is common and can be long-term depending on the chosen approach.
Results of a Brow Lift
Depending on the patient‘s presurgical appearance and goals, a brow lift‘s results, which can be seen immediately, can be either subtle or dramatic. Eyes will appear more “open,” and creases across the forehead, bridge of the nose, and between the eyes will be much less prominent.
Risks Associated with a Brow Lift
Prior to scheduling surgery, the patient and surgeon should fully discuss the risks associated with a brow lift. In addition to those associated with any type of surgery, a brow lift‘s risks include the following:
- Hair loss around the incision site(s)
- Facial asymmetry
- Higher hairline
- Injury to facial nerves
- Eye dryness/irritation