What Is a Brow Lift?
Brow lift surgery, also known as a forehead lift, is used to smooth the appearance of the forehead, re-elevate the brows to their proper position, and restore a refreshed and youthful look. The aging process can bring drooping eyebrows, marked forehead creases, and an involuntarily tired, sad, or angry appearance. In some cases, these aesthetic issues can be resolved through eyelid surgery or a facelift; however, in other cases, a brow lift may be the preferred approach. A forehead lift allows patients to open up the upper eyelid area by elevating the eyebrows. Dr. Charles Perry, our board-certified plastic surgeon, uses this technique to help patients look their best and regain their confidence.
- Brow Lift Candidates
- Brow Lift Considerations
- Brow Lift Procedure
- Brow Lift Recovery
- Brow Lift Scars
- Brow Lift Results
- Brow Lift Alternatives
- Brow Lift Vs. Facelift
- Brow Lift Vs. BOTOX® Cosmetic
- Brow Lift Risks
- Brow Lift Cost
- Brow Lift Pre- and Post-Op Instructions
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Brow Lift Surgery?
The ideal candidate for brow lift surgery is a man or woman with visible signs of aging in the forehead and brow region, such as drooping of the eyebrows and forehead creases. While most people who undergo brow lift surgery are between 40 and 60 years old, this procedure can help those of any age seeking to erase visible signs of aging or correct an inherited trait, such as a low, heavy brow. As with any surgery, the best brow lift candidate is physically healthy, mentally stable, and has realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved with brow lift surgery.
If you are bald, have a receding hairline, or have undergone previous upper-eyelid surgery, it is likely that you can still undergo brow lift surgery. Dr. Perry will alter the technique and location of the incision to best suit your needs.
Brow lift is not recommended for:
- Individuals with unrealistic expectations
- Individuals suffering from certain medical conditions –this includes high blood pressure and blood-clotting problems. These conditions can complicate the surgery and post-surgical healing. Inform Dr. Perry of any health problems you have or medications you take before undergoing surgery.
- Patients suffering from laxity of the mid to lower face. This is better addressed by a facelift or mini facelift. However, if a patient has marked forehead creases as well as facial sagging, facelift can be successfully combined with brow lift.
Things to Consider Before Undergoing Brow Lift Surgery
Fees for brow lift include surgical materials, facility fees, anesthesia fees, and more. Health insurance does not cover brow lift surgery, and should complications arise that require additional surgery, you will incur further expenses.
Unplanned abandonment of the endoscopic technique
If, during the endoscopic brow lift procedure, a complication arises, the surgeon may have to abandon the endoscopic technique and switch to the conventional open procedure. This can result in a longer recovery period and a more extensive scar.
How Is Brow Lift Surgery Performed?
Brow lift surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia that has been combined with a sedative. A brow lift is rarely performed the same way for every patient. Like eyelid surgery, the procedure is highly customizable based on the patient’s unique needs. There are various brow lift surgery techniques, and the chosen technique depends on your needs.
The Coronal Brow Lift
Dr. Perry will prepare you for the surgery by securing your hair with rubber bands on each side of the incision line. Though your hair will not be shaved, hair growing directly in front of the incision line may be trimmed.
Usually, placing an incision behind the hairline can keep any scarring concealed. This incision resembles a pair of headphones, extending from the top of one ear, arching over the head and back down the other side until reaching the top of the other ear. A slight rise of the hairline is to be expected with this technique. If your hairline is already high, or is receding, the incision can be placed at the hairline to draw your hairline down. Some patients choose to make scars less conspicuous by covering them with bangs, or a new hairstyle.
After making the incision, Dr. Perry will carefully lift the flap of skin from the forehead and set about smoothing and altering the muscles of the forehead. The skin is then held taut, the scalp elevated, and excess skin trimmed along the incision site. Finally, the incision is sutured closed.
The Endoscopic Brow Lift
Just as in the traditional brow lift procedure described above, the endoscopic technique begins with tying back of the hair at the incision sites.
Instead of utilizing one long incision, the endoscopic technique uses five inch-long incisions, each hidden within the hairline. Once the incisions are made, an endoscope (a tiny camera connected to a monitor) is inserted through one of the incisions to give Dr. Perry a view of the underlying muscles and tissues.
As in the traditional technique, the forehead skin is separated from the underlying structures and the muscles and tissues are altered or removed, producing a smoother, more youthful appearance. The eyebrows are lifted to a higher position and secured using sutures and temporary surgical screws that are absorbed by the body.
With the lift portion of the surgery complete, the small incisions along the scalp are closed with sutures or clips.
The advantage of this technique is that it is less invasive, and patients generally experience less swelling, bruising, and pain during recovery compared to the traditional method.
The Mini Brow Lift
Also called a minimal incision brow lift or limited incision lateral brow lift, a mini brow lift may be an option for patients who see brow descent primarily on the sides of the forehead, rather than across the middle section. The incisions in this procedure are located in the temple (temporal) area, with no incisions placed more centrally on the forehead (vertically above the eyes). This technique may also provide some rejuvenation for the upper eyelid area, and patients who have been using BOTOX® Cosmetic to minimize the appearance of creases on the sides of the forehead may find a mini brow lift provides similar but longer-lasting effects.
A mini brow lift is a less commonly used technique, and another approach may provide better results for your needs. The recovery for a mini brow lift is often similar to other brow lift techniques. Dr. Perry will help you determine if this or another option can give you the outcome you’re seeking.
What Should I Expect During Brow Lift Recovery?
Most patients can return home the same day as their procedure, and you should expect some bruising, swelling, and discomfort initially. We will provide prescription medication to manage your pain, and we recommend you take one to two weeks off from work and regular daily activities (including housework) for the first 10-14 days. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least one month. To aid in healing, you should keep your head elevated, even while sleeping, during the first week by using a few stacked pillows. Sutures and staples, should any need to be removed, will typically come out after a week. You should begin to see the results after three to four weeks, although some minor swelling, which you may not notice, will continue to subside over the next several months.
Are Brow Lift Scars Noticeable?
In most cases, brow lift incisions are placed in the hairline, making residual scarring well-concealed and virtually unnoticeable to others. There will be less scarring if the endoscopic brow lift technique is performed rather than the traditional brow lift approach; however, both techniques typically utilize incisions that are created in the hair, so the resulting scars should be hidden from view.
How Long Does a Brow Lift Last?
While the longevity of brow lift surgery results can vary among patients due to each individual’s unique anatomical response to the procedure, most people who undergo this treatment experience the results for several years. With this in mind, it is important to note that lifestyle habits can have a significant effect on how long outcomes will last. Maintaining a healthy diet, in addition to excellent skin care regimens and refraining from smoking, can help patients enjoy the positive results of brow lift surgery for very long periods of time.
What Are the Alternatives to Brow Lift Surgery?
In terms of the extent of aesthetic enhancement and the length of results afforded by brow lift surgery, there is no non-surgical alternative that can achieve what this procedure can accomplish. However, a less invasive option such as BOTOX® Cosmetic can provide temporary reduction in signs of glabellar lines (frown lines) and creases along the forehead. BOTOX® Cosmetic can be very effective for these particular concerns, but the results will fade after about three to four months in most patients, and will need to be maintained with occasional follow-up injections to create longer-lasting outcomes. For patients who are experiencing a sagging brow, a surgical brow lift is currently the only treatment that is capable of addressing that concern. Once Dr. Perry has met with you during the initial consultation, he will evaluate your needs and talk with you about your expectations. Dr. Perry will explain all aspects of treatments that can achieve your goals and help you determine the most ideal option.
Brow Lift Vs. Facelift
Brow lift surgery and facelift surgery typically cover different areas of the face. A brow lift elevates and rejuvenates the upper face, or forehead, while a facelift enhances the appearance of the mid and lower face. Eyelid surgery addresses the eye area. Some patients experience signs of aging in more than one area and seek a more comprehensive cosmetic program. Dr. Perry can help you determine what technique or combination of techniques can optimize your results. In many cases, you may benefit from surgical and non-surgical treatments rather than multiple surgical ones. Everyone is unique, and Dr. Perry personalizes each program to the patient’s individual needs and goals.
Brow Lift Vs. BOTOX® Cosmetic
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a non-surgical cosmetic injectable designed to soften the appearance of wrinkles and creases by halting excess muscle movement. It is commonly used on the forehead and around the eyes. Some patients with excess tissue on the forehead find that BOTOX® injections cause their upper eyelids to appear heavier as the brow tissue relaxes and descends. In this case, a brow lift may be the preferred technique to address forehead lines. By eliminating the sagging tissue, both the forehead and the eyelid area can appear rejuvenated, with longer-lasting results than any injectable. However, brow lift is not always a suitable alternative to BOTOX® Cosmetic, and Dr. Perry will evaluate your concerns to determine if you are a good candidate for either surgery or injectables.
What Are the Risks Associated with Brow Lift Surgery?
Risks are inherent in any surgical procedure. The following list covers some, though not all, possible risks of the brow lift procedure. Dr. Perry will educate you further about possible complications during your consultation.
Hair loss along the scar edges
This is impossible to predict, but hair loss is usually not extensive.
Difficulty closing the eyelids
Especially if upper eyelid blepharoplasty is done at the same time as brow lift surgery, or has been done in the past, brow lift surgery can lead to some difficulty in closing the eyelids.
While surgeons aim for an aesthetically pleasing balance, the human face is not symmetrical and perfect symmetry following brow lift surgery must not be expected.
Formation of a broad scar
This is rare and can be treated by removing the wide scar tissue to make way for a new, thinner scar.
Damage of nerves that control eyebrow movement
The surgery can injure the nerves that control eyebrow movement, either on one side or both. This can result in an inability to wrinkle the forehead or raise the eyebrows.
Loss of sensation along or behind the incision
This complication is relatively common, especially when the traditional, coronal brow lift technique is used. Sensation usually returns within six to 12 months, but it is sometimes permanent.
How Much Does a Brow Lift Cost?
The price of brow lift surgery at our practice usually ranges between $6,174 and $8,000, which includes the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, and anesthesia. We are dedicated to patient education and our medical team will review the full cost of your treatment plan with you at your initial consultation. We also work with several reputable lending agencies if you’re interested in plastic surgery financing. Dr. Perry believes that patients who are well-informed and confident in their care are more satisfied with their results. If you have any questions about any aspect of your program, we encourage you to voice them so we can best attend to your concerns.
Complete Brow Lift Pre- and Post-Op Instructions
To give our patients a comfortable and positive brow lift surgery experience, we have compiled this comprehensive list of pre- and post-surgery instructions. Please study the instructions before surgery, and print them out and bring them with you on your surgery day. If you have any questions, please contact Chrysalis Cosmetics and we will be happy to speak with you.
Brow lift Instructions (printer-friendly)
*Individual Results May Vary