Forehead Lift/ Brow Lift
Believe it or not, your forehead and eyebrows get a lot of use through the course of the day. Whether you are laughing, crying, worrying, or even sleeping, the muscles of your forehead a busy moving, stretching, and contracting. All of this can cause creases and “frown lines” in the forehead. Deep vertical frown lines, horizontal wrinkles in the forehead and droopy eyebrows are common problems. This may cause a tired, sad or angry look. Some people, especially men, may find that their eyebrows are settling onto their eyelashes and interfere with their vision.
The Brow Lift Procedure
If your issue is droopy or heavy eyebrows, a deep furrowed brow, a sad look or a tense, angry look that doesn’t go away, forehead lift may help. The forehead lift is performed with either an incision behind the hairline or endoscopically using several small incisions strategically placed behind the hairline. Both methods elevate your forehead and eyebrows, smoothing forehead wrinkles and frown lines. The result will be a relaxed and refreshed, natural appearance with a smoother forehead. The endoscopic technique is less effective for people with many deep forehead wrinkles, excessively droopy eyebrows, and/or excessively high foreheads. Dr. Brunner will help you decide which technique is best for you. The brow lift procedure is often combined with other operations such as blepharoplasty and facelifts to improve the look of the eyes and other areas of the face.
A forehead lift or brow lift usually takes an hour and a half. It can be performed under twilight sleep or general anesthesia, and you can go home several hours after your procedure. There is usually some mild swelling and bruising around the eyes that dissipates quickly. Healing occurs quickly in this area and the incisions are well camouflaged by your hair.
Your Brow Lift Recovery
There is usually little or no discomfort after an eyelid lift. You can expect some bruising and swelling. Wearing dark “Jackie-O” sunglasses for a few days will camouflage the bruising and protect them from the sun and irritants in the air. You may experience mild and temporary eye irritation or dry eye symptoms in the several weeks after your procedure. The recovery is very similar the the recovery after an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty. Dr. Brunner will recommend eye drops and ointments to promote healing and help with temporary irritation. You should be able to return to your normal routine within a couple of weeks. The results will be a refreshed appearance with a younger, firmer eye area.
Brow Lift FAQs
Designed to lift and smooth the forehead, a brow lift from our board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Eugenie Brunner, can rejuvenate the face with beautiful results. This procedure can be performed alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic techniques such as a facelift or eyelid lift (blepharoplasty). To help patients considering this treatment make the most informed decision possible, Dr. Brunner has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Who is a good candidate for a brow lift?
An ideal candidate for brow lift surgery, also known as a forehead lift or browplasty, would be a man or woman in good overall health who doesn’t smoke. Additionally, they should have a desire to improve the appearance of a heavy or sagging brow, which can cause the patient to look tired, upset, or sad.
Individuals should also understand what can be accomplished with surgery, and have reasonable expectations for the outcome. Dr. Brunner will explain the options available to each patient, and she may recommend one or more techniques. This way, the patient and Dr. Brunner can work together to develop an optimal treatment plan.
A descending brow can also affect the eyes. For this reason, individuals who have excess skin on the upper face may be better served by a surgical procedure rather a non-surgical one, such as BOTOX® injections, which can exacerbate the concern. BOTOX® Cosmetic reduces muscle movement, which can cause the forehead to relax downward and appear even heavier.
How is a brow lift performed?
There are several advanced techniques that can be used, and the right method will vary from patient to patient. Some examples include an isolated temporal brow lift, an endoscopic brow lift, pretrichial and trichial brow lifts, and direct and indirect brow lifts. Dr. Brunner uses an endoscopic technique when possible, as this approach utilizes small incisions that are often well-hidden by the hairline. During the initial consultation, she will discuss the technique that offers the best possible outcome for your goals based on your anatomic indicators.
Where are the incisions located?
The location of the incisions will vary depending on the technique used, and Dr. Brunner takes great care to make the incisions as inconspicuous as possible. The openings typically will be placed behind the hairline on the scalp and/or near the temples, where your hair can naturally camouflage the marks. Dr. Brunner will discuss the specific locations with you during your initial consultation.
Will I have to stay overnight in the hospital?
Brow lift surgery typically will be an outpatient surgery, and you should be able to return home the same day. The operation usually takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete. After surgery, you will likely spend a short time in the hospital, after which you can have a friend or family member take you home.
What is the recovery process like?
The recovery process is an important part of achieving the discussed outcome, and this period will require some patience. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness in the treated area and around the eyes is normal, and you may have some temporary eye irritation, similar to what is experienced following eyelid surgery. We will provide medication to help manage your discomfort and provide a more pleasant recuperation. You may wish to wear sunglasses to conceal bruising and protect the face for the first few days following the procedure.
When can I return to work?
Most patients will take one to two weeks off from work and their normal routines to recover from a brow lift. During this period, we recommend taking it easy and avoiding any strenuous activity. Many individuals use this opportunity to catch up on reading and/or their favorite TV shows and movies. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least a month, or as long as Dr. Brunner recommends. The length of recovery may be altered if you combine brow lift surgery with other surgical procedures, and Dr. Brunner will explain any modifications specific to your treatment plan.
Does insurance cover a brow lift?
Brow lift surgery typically will be an elective procedure, which means that medical insurance will not cover the cost. In some cases, the weight of the forehead skin will push down the brows and eyelid skin so far as to impair vision. If this is the case, insurance may partially cover the cost of the operation. You should check with your insurance representative to determine your options. We understand that every patient has individual preferences when it comes to payment, and we offer a range of financing options to help bring the cost of brow lift surgery into your budget.
How long will the results last?
This procedure is designed to have long-lasting results. Brow lift surgery can restore the tissues of the upper face to a higher, more youthful level and smooth deep creases. However, the natural process of aging will continue. And factors such as sun damage, skin care, genetic predisposition, and smoking can affect how long the effects will last. Individuals who take great care of their skin may be able to enjoy the benefits for 10-15 years or more. Additionally, supplementary non-surgical treatments can help to extend the outcome.
We want to help our patients become well informed about their cosmetic enhancement choices. If you have additional questions about brow lift surgery, or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.
How to get started?
Dr. Brunner and her staff will be happy to discuss a brow lift with you. Please call our office (609) 921-9497 to schedule your private consultation.