Forhead Lifts (Brow Lifts)

The muscles and skin of our forehead relax with age, causing drooping brows and frown lines. The resulting look has a major impact on how you appear to other people. Often, these flaws make a person look angry, sad, and tired. If you’ve looked in the mirror recently and pulled back on some of that skin, you probably realized that you could still have a youthful look without that constant frowning. That’s what a forehead lift or brow lift surgery can do for you.


What Is Brow Lift?

A brow lift, sometimes called a forehead lift is a procedure to improve the appearance of your facial region between the upper eyelids and the scalp, extending to the temples. It improves low placement or sagging of the brows, and minimizes the appearance of lines and creases in the forehead. These conditions may be due to heredity or can be attributed to the natural aging process. In some people repeated facial expressions that are created by contraction of underlying muscles result in visible creases and deep furrows.

In a brow lift, your forehead’s muscles and tissues are reconstructed to be tighter. That way, the frowning and drooping are removed and replaced with a smooth forehead, raised eyebrows, and less frown lines. The results are often dramatic and can take many years off your facial appearance.

There are several methods available with varying degrees of invasiveness. The traditional procedure requires large incisions hidden in your hairline while the newer procedures only require a few small incisions. A lot of brow lift patients have other procedures done to their face to enhance their entire facial look. Face-lifts can smooth out the cheeks and eyes while eyelid surgeries can correct any extra skin in the upper eyelid.

Even if you are bald or have a receding hairline, the operation can still be done with an endoscopic technique or with carefully placed incisions. To prevent any obvious scarring, such an operation would yield less dramatic results.


Who Is a Good Candidate for Brow Lift?

The most common candidate for brow lifts are men and women aged 40 to 60 years. Of course, it can apply to anyone who has developed frown lines from intense stress or muscle activity. There are also some genetic traits that cause low brows and furrow lines above the nose. These can also be fixed to give you that happier and attentive look.


How Should You Prepare for Brow Lift?

The initial consultation with your surgeon will require your complete medical history, so you will want to be prepared to provide the necessary information. You must be completely open and honest with your surgeon. If there is any medical problem, you will be referred to a specialist.

With all of this information, your surgeon can plan the best procedure for your needs and tell you how to adequately prepare for the procedure by giving you guidelines.

There might be some lifestyle adjustments you have to make before you can undergo a brow lift. For instance, if you smoke – you may have to quit, or at least restrict your habit for a few days. You may also have to avoid alcohol and certain medications. If you regularly take an aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drug, your need to stop taking these for a certain period of time before the surgery. These drugs can cause increased bleeding and should be avoided.

Also, be advised: if your hair is long and will get in the way of the procedure, you may have to trim it. If your hair is shorter, you may seek to grow it out to cover any scars.


How Is Brow Lift Performed?

There are many types of brow lifts. Incision length and placement depends on the type of brow lift you are having and is determined in advance by your surgeon.

Most brow lifts are done on an outpatient basis under light anesthesia. A brow lift may take up to two hours or more, depending on the extent of rejuvenation, the techniques used and any additional procedures performed at the same time. Your surgeon will determine the area which need to be excised and where the best incision placements would be for your particular needs. You will have this skin dissected and your surgeon will move and suture your muscle or skin, depending. Or he or she may excise or “clip” your corrugator muscle to prohibit or hinder you from frowning in the future. After the internal work has been done your incisions will be sutured and a pressure dressing will be applied.


Cat Like Look – Lateral Brow Lift

Signs of aging like frown lines on the forehead and saggy eyebrows are a common occurrence in both men and women. These flaws are visible for everyone to see and can make you appear tired or angry. For these people, a brow lift is usually the best thing to fix the problem. However, others with just a concern about the look of their eyebrows, and crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes can benefit from a lateral brow lift without the need for an invasive procedure.

A lateral brow lift is less invasive because it only focuses on fixing the droopiness around the eyebrows and eyes. Incisions are placed in the hairline as usual, but only at the temples. The lift does not consist of any muscle reconstruction and only involves the tightening and removal of some skin. Though less versatile than a traditional brow lift or endoscopic brow lift, a lateral brow lift does have some advantages.

For instance, it can provide you with a new look at the ends of your eyebrows. Some patients receive an enhanced arch at the ends of their eyebrows, giving them a cat-like look that is extremely exotic. Other benefits to the lateral brow lift include some smoothing of the upper cheeks that can enhance the prominence of your cheekbones.

Ultimately, the lateral brow lift is limited in how much sag it can correct. It does nothing for the mid-brow and only isolates the sides of the face and the outer eyebrow. However, that’s perfect for someone who only has problems in these areas, as they can do without a more invasive procedure. Plus, the recovery time of a lateral brow lift is extremely quick.

If you’ve got crow’s feet that make you look older or some sag to the eyebrows at the ends, then a lateral brow lift procedure is probably your best choice. It can also help to enhance your cheekbones.


What Is Recovery Like After Brow Lift Surgery?

Your recovery is going to vary depending upon which procedure you had with varying degrees of invasiveness.

In any case, you will have stitches or staples in the incisions which will need to be removed in about a week. If you have temporary fixation screws, these will be removed in about two weeks (these fixtures are installed beneath the hairline to hold the elevated brow in place).

You will probably experience swelling and bruising, which can also affect other parts of your face, including your cheeks and eyes. The swelling should be gone in about a week. For at least two days following surgery, you should keep your head elevated to help alleviate the swelling, and you can gently apply ice packs to the affected region.

For those who undergo surgery via the more invasive method, you will most likely experience more pain during your recovery. Your doctor will give you a prescription for a painkiller. You may also experience more itching, which can last for a few months. In either case, you may also experience numbness or tingling. This will subside over time. Those who underwent the more invasive method may experience more numbing.

Most patients can return to work or school within 10 days, some sooner, depending on which procedure you underwent and your own personal rate of recovery. You should be sure to avoid heavy lifting, vigorous exercise or other activity for the first few weeks after surgery.

While rates of healing vary widely and can sometimes be a source of worry, the final result is what matters most.


Will the Results of Brow Lift Be Permanent?

You may say that the results are semi-permanent. Gravity will take its toll as aging continues, but portions of the brow lift (with regard to the wrinkle lines in the brow and the frown line area) should never be as severe again and may return only mildly over the years. However, once the brow is elevated it will continue to descend each year, since gravity continues to take hold of the tissue. The average brow elevation patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last at least 6-10 years. However, when this procedure is coupled with the long-lasting effect of elimination of forehead and frown line wrinkles, the longevity of the brow life appears to be, overall, extremely long lasting.


What Are Possible Complications From Brow Lift?

When the procedure is performed by a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon complications are rare and usually minor. However, as with any surgery, there are potential complications and risks. Your physician will spend time discussing these with you during your scheduled consultation. Be sure to bring a list of questions or concerns with you.  All patients are instructed to discuss the general surgical risks with their surgeon.

For the most part, a brow lift is a complication-free surgery if performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. There are some known complications that can occur.

Nerve damage is one of them. Sometimes the nerves that control the eyebrows are damaged during the procedure and you can lose control of the eyebrow muscles. Patients who experience this are unable to raise their eyebrows or frown. Remedial surgery can often correct this problem.

Sometimes there are complications along the length of the incision. Since the skin must be pulled back and held in place, the incisions can widen while they’re healing while under tension. The hair follicles in the incision region may also be damaged and could fall out. The scars can be fixed with additional surgery and the hair usually grows back in a month.

Numbness and discomfort can be felt around any incision for a few weeks. As the nerves grow back, you might feel some itchiness but there’s no point scratching: it’s a normal reaction to nerve growth.

Infections and bleeding are uncommon compared to most other plastic surgeries.