For many people, the signs of aging begin at the brow — causing wrinkle lines, folds and creases between the eyebrows and on the forehead. The loosening of skin also takes a toll on your appearance, causing the eyebrows to drop. These common effects of aging can make you appear older and constantly tired. Fortunately, facial plastic surgery exists to help correct these imperfections.
A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a surgical procedure that helps patients look more alert by reversing these signs of aging, resulting in a younger-looking appearance.
What benefits can a brow lift give me?
Brow or forehead lifts have multiple benefits, including:
- Reducing the appearance of horizontal wrinkles across the forehead
- Reducing wrinkles between the eyes and on the bridge of the nose
- Decreasing the severity of vertical creases, or number 11 lines, between the eyebrows
- Lifting brows that hang low over the upper eyelids
- Providing a younger, more rested appearance
What are the methods used for a brow or forehead lift?
The two common techniques used in brow or forehead lifts are:
- An endoscopic brow lift: With this minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon makes very small incisions that are concealed in the hairline and fiber optic instruments are used to assist in the release and elevation of the tissues underlying the wrinkles in the region. This is best performed in patients with a small amount of brow droop.
- A temporal lift: Also a minimally invasive technique that involves excision of portions of the hair-bearing scalp behind the hairline to elevate the eyebrows..
The specific technique used depends on the specific signs of aging a patient has.
What happens during a brow lift procedure?
A brow lift is an outpatient procedure done with general anesthesia or a combination of IV sedation and local anesthesia.
Once anesthesia is given, sections of the patient’s hair where the incisions will be made will be held away from the surgery area. It is a common misconception that larger areas of hair will be shaved off. Usually, it is only a small amount of hair in front of the incision that needs to be trimmed off.
There are different types of incisions that can be used for a brow lift or forehead lift procedure:
- An incision made in front of the hair to reduce the size of the forehead
- For patients who have an issue with balding, the incision may be made in the middle of the scalp to conceal the scar afterwards.
- Current techniques involve the use of several small incisions across the hairline where an endoscope will be fitted through.
Excess skin, muscle, and tissues will be trimmed off, and the remaining skin gently held higher to tighten the forehead region. Once this work is complete, the incisions will be sutured closed.
What should I expect during recovery?
Most patients go home the night of the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe medication to alleviate pain, and your head may be wrapped to minimize bruising and swelling during your eyebrow lift recovery. You may have some decreased sensation of your scalp after surgery.
Is a forehead lift right for me?
To determine whether or not a brow lift is the right procedure for you, schedule a consultation with one of one of MultiCare’s board-certified plastic surgeons. During your visit, your doctor will speak with you about the goals you have for your appearance, measure your face, take photographs, discuss your options and determine the best decision for your treatment.
In addition to deciding on your treatment plan, your doctor will also ask you about your medical history. Bring a list of medications, supplements and vitamins you take, and have a list prepared of the questions or concerns you may have. Being open with our specialists is key to a safe and successful surgery.