On days when you are feeling well rested and content, does your face tell a different story? Often, the forehead is the main culprit. A lined or furrowed brow can make a serene face appear upset or concerned. Frown lines between the eyebrows can produce an angry look. A drooping brow can create a perpetually tired or sad look. Men and women visit The Plastic Surgery Group for brow lift surgery to restore a more relaxed and refreshed appearance. While a facelift can refresh and restore the lower face and neck, a brow lift is used to rejuvenate the temples, forehead, and upper face.
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BEFORE & AFTERS
IS A BROW LIFT RIGHT FOR ME?
Our Albany plastic surgeons typically perform brow lift surgery, also called a forehead lift, on men and women in their 40s to 60s; however, there is no age limit for the procedure. There are many reasons people choose this procedure, including:
- Correcting a sagging or low position of the eyebrows
- Softening horizontal creases across the forehead
- Erasing the worried or angry expression that can result from frown lines between the eyebrows
Brow lift patient shown before surgery with drooping eyebrows and eyelid tissues, creases in the forehead and frown lines.
During your physical evaluation, your plastic surgeon will assess your bone structure and the underlying tissues of your face. The thickness, texture, and elasticity of your skin and the muscle activity of your entire forehead and upper-eyelid region will be evaluated. In developing your surgical plan, these factors will be considered as they relate to the position of your eyebrows, the amount of excess upper-eyelid skin and the height of your hairline. Sometimes, patients who are bothered by excess skin in their upper eyelids don’t realize that a sagging brow is contributing to that appearance.
Your plastic surgeon may explain additional procedures that can be performed along with a brow lift to meet your appearance goals such as a facelift and eyelid surgery.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BROW LIFT PROCEDURES?
There are several variations of the brow lift procedure, but the vast majority of our patients are appropriate candidates for today’s highly advanced endoscopic approach. Your plastic surgeon will recommend the surgical technique that he or she feels will achieve the best outcome for you. Options include:
- An endoscopic forehead lift is a limited-incision technique that involves 4 small incisions within the hairline. For this technique, the surgeon uses an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube attached to a video camera with a light on the end. The endoscope is inserted through the small incisions in the scalp and allows the plastic surgeon to see and work on the internal structures of the forehead.
- Another limited-incision technique can be performed without an endoscope. This technique uses incisions near the temples to lift the drooping eyebrows along with upper-eyelid incisions to treat the frown lines.
- A conventional brow lift (also called the coronal incision technique) involves an incision across the top of the scalp (indicated by dashes in the figure below) that begins above the ears and is concealed within the hair. Sometimes, the incision may be placed at the front of the hairline. The incision is designed to be inconspicuous once it has healed. Our surgeons use this technique rarely as the techniques for minimally invasive approaches improve.
If your only concern is frown lines between the eyebrows or across the top of the nose, your surgeon may elect to use the endoscopic procedure or to treat the frown lines using only upper-eyelid incisions, which are the same incisions that would be used for eyelid surgery. Some people require only BOTOX® Cosmetic injections.
HOW IS FOREHEAD SURGERY PERFORMED?
Our plastic surgeons usually perform forehead surgery as an outpatient procedure with either general anesthesia or local anesthesia and calming relaxants. Working through the incisions, your plastic surgeon can modify or remove parts of the muscles that cause wrinkling and frown lines, remove excess skin, and lift your eyebrows to a more pleasing level.
HOW MUCH DOES A BROW LIFT COST?
The typical range for a brow life is $3,000 to $4,000. Your actual cost will depend on several factors such as whether you are having your brow lift combined with other procedures. Most patients can qualify for financing through CareCredit if desired. For the most positive surgical outcome, we recommend considering your surgeon’s credentials above cost. Visit Meet the Surgeons to learn more from our exceptional team.
WHAT IS RECOVERY LIKE AFTER A BROW LIFT?
Although people recover at their own rate, you can expect that your recovery will follow this general timeline:
THE FIRST DAY
When you wake up from surgery, you will not have any dressings or drains to worry about. Discomfort is usually minimal, but any pain you feel can be controlled with medication prescribed by your surgeon. Also, you will be able to shower and wash your hair. In this early stage of healing, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. One rule of thumb is to always keep your head higher than your heart.
Swelling and puffiness, which may affect the eyelids and cheeks, reaches its peak and then begins to subside. Bandages and drain tubes (if used) are removed, and you may shower. You may resume light activity.
1 TO 2 WEEKS
Within 2 weeks, any stitches or clips will be removed. During this time, most of the bruising will disappear, and you can wear makeup to conceal any discoloration. You may resume many of your normal activities, including light exercise.
Three weeks after surgery, swelling and puffiness will continue to subside. Numbness and itching of the scalp will diminish as the nerves continue to heal. You may resume more strenuous activity and exercise.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
Throughout the healing period, you should avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the long term, be conscientious about using sunblock lotion to protect your skin.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT MY RESULTS?
If you’re like most people who have a brow lift, you’ll be very pleased with your refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. Although it may take several months to see your final result, you will probably agree that your new appearance was worth the wait.
A number of factors, including your heredity and your lifestyle, play a role in how long the results of your forehead lift will last. Remember, even though your “aging clock” will be turned back several years, that clock will continue to run. However, at any point in the future, you should still look more youthful than you would have looked without surgery. Patients are usually happy with their appearance for many years following a brow lift.
HOW LONG WILL I CONTINUE TO SEE MY PLASTIC SURGEON?
After the initial healing period, you will return to your plastic surgeon’s office for a postoperative follow-up visit so that your healing and progress can be evaluated. In the following months, your surgeon may ask you to return for periodic checkups. It’s important to keep these appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.
WHAT ARE POTENTIAL RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
Each year, thousands of men and women undergo brow lifts and experience no major complications. However, it is important for you to be informed of the risks, as well as the benefits. One of the most important parts of your consultation is the discussion that you and your surgeon will have about the possible complications of brow lift surgery. In addition to listening carefully to what your surgeon tells you, be sure to raise any questions or concerns that you may have about the safety of the procedure.