Brow Lift

1 What is a Brow Lift?

Also known as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation, a brow lift is a cosmetic procedure that is specifically done for improving the appearance of the forehead and the area around the eyes.

During this procedure, the soft tissue and skin of the forehead and eyebrow are raised.

You might choose to have a brow lift if you have creases on your forehead or between your eyes or a low, sagging brow.

A brow lift might also boost your self-confidence. A brow lift can be done alone or other facial procedures, such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or face-lift.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for a brow lift is aging, which typically causes the deepening of the lines across the forehead and between the eyes.

The distance between the eyebrows and eyelashes will also shorten as skin loses its elasticity. The combination of low eyebrows and deep creases can give you a tired, angry or sad appearance.

A brow can soften facial lines, raise the eyebrows and restore a softer, more pleasing appearance.

You might consider a brow lift for the following reasons:

  • Vertical creases between your eyebrows.
  • Creases across your forehead or high on the bridge of your nose, between your eyes.
  • A low or sagging brow that is contributing to sagging eyelids.

3 Potential Risks

Potential risks associated with a brow lift include:

  • Scarring. Scarring might be visible after a brow lift.
  • Changes in skin sensation. A brow lift that involves an incision behind your hairline (coronal brow lift) has the ability to cause temporary or permanent numbness on the scalp.
  • Asymmetry in the position of the brows. A brow lift can result in asymmetry, this is a situation where one or both eyebrows appear too high. However, asymmetry typically evens out during the healing process.
  • Persistent brow shape or position problems can be treated through surgery.
  • Hair problems. A brow lift can result in an elevated hairline or hair loss at the site of the incision. If hair loss does not resolve on its own, it can be treated with scar excision or hair grafting.

Like any other type of major surgery, a brow lift comes with risks of bleeding, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

To prepare for the procedure you will initially talk to a plastic surgeon about a brow lift.

He or she will likely do the following during your first visit:

  • Review your medical history.
  • You must be prepared to give answers to questions about your current and past medical conditions.
  • Talk about any medications you are taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you have had.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to particular medications. 
  • Do a physical exam.
  • In order to determine your treatment options, the doctor will proceed to examine and measure different parts of your face with your opened and closed.
  • The doctor might also take photographs for your medical record.
  • Discuss your expectations. 
  • Explain to your doctor why you want to have the procedure done, and your hopes in terms of appearance after the procedure.
  • Make sure you understand the risks and benefits. 

Prior to a brow lift you might also need to do the following:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking is known to decrease blood flow in the skin and can slow the process of healing. In also increases the risk of tissue damage.
  • Avoid certain medications. You will likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
  • Arrange for assistance during recovery.  Make plans for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your brow lift procedure.

A brow lift is performed in a hospital or an outpatient facility. During this procedure, you will typically be comfortable with the help of general anesthesia, which renders you unconscious.

During surgery. Brow lift techniques vary depending on your desire results in the specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.

The following techniques may be applied by your doctor:

  • Endoscopic brow lift. Your surgeon will make several small incisions behind your hairline. He or she will then insert a long thin tube with a light and a tiny camera mounted on its end (endoscope) through one of the incisions to view your underlying muscles and tissues. Using an instrument inserted through another incision, your surgeon will lift your forehead tissues and anchor them in place with sutures, small screws or another technique. Your incisions are then closed with stitches or small clips.
  • Coronal brow lift. Your surgeon will make an incision behind your hairline across the top of your head, from ear to ear or primarily on the top of your head. He or she will lift your forehead into its new position, with the scalp in front of the incision overlapping the scalp behind it. The overlapping scalp is then removed and the remaining scalp is sewn together. This technique is not typically done in people who have high hairlines, thin hair or who are likely to lose their hair.
  • Hairline brow lift. Your surgeon will make an incision between the top of your forehead and the beginning of your hairline. He or she will remove a small amount of skin and tissue from the top of your forehead, rather than your scalp. As a result, your hairline won't be pulled back. The technique can yield dramatic improvements in horizontal creases. A hairline brow lift is often used if someone has a high receding hairline.

However, depending upon healing, a scar might be visible along the hairline. Brow lift surgery typically takes about two hours. After surgery. After a brow lift, your forehead might be taped and your head might be loosely wrapped to minimize swelling. A small tube might be placed along the incision site to drain any excess blood or fluid.

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions. In the first few days after a brow lift:

  • Rest with your head elevated and take pain medication as recommended by your doctor.
  • Apply cold compresses to relieve swelling.
  • Avoid exposing your incisions to excessive pressure or motion.
  • As your incisions heal, you might experience itching and numbness, which will likely diminish over time.

If your incisions are covered in bandages, your doctor will likely remove them in one to three days. Sutures typically will be removed within seven to 10 days of surgery.

Ask your doctor when it's OK to resume daily activities, such as washing and drying your hair and bathing. Keep in mind that swelling might last several weeks. Incision lines will fade over time. You might use makeup to conceal any prolonged bruising.

After a brow lift, contact your doctor immediately if you have:

6 Procedure Results

If you do not understand your brow lift procedure results, consult with your doctor.

By raising an eyebrow, the soft tissue and skin of your forehead and brow, a brow lift can give you a more youthful look. You must keep in mind that brow lifts are not everlasting.

With age your facial skin might begin to droop again. Sun damage can also contribute to the aging of your skin.

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