A brow lift (forehead lift) is designed to address excess skin and sagging in the upper part of the face. Often, raising the forehead skin back to a more youthful position will correct drooping in the upper eyelids as well. This is a less extensive surgery than a full face lift but can still create a significant improvement in appearance.
If you’re over 40 and displeased with deep forehead wrinkles and a lowered brow line, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Ideally, you should be in good health and have a clear understanding of the risks, benefits and typical outcomes of the procedure. Smoking and certain medical conditions can make some patients poor candidates for plastic surgery.
Patient Consultation Overview
During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss the various methods available for performing brow lift surgery. The recommended technique depends on factors such as the specific areas you need lifted to:
- Minimize deep horizontal wrinkles along your forehead or above the bridge of your nose
- Reduce vertical creases between your brows
- Lift a drooping brow and raise your upper eyelids
- Lower your hairline to reduce the appearance of a high forehead
- Make your brows more symmetrical
The procedure type will impact the location and extent of your brow lift scars. Usually, these are hidden in the hairline. If you have significant hair loss along your brow line (or if future balding is likely), your scars may be visible.
Your surgeon will thoroughly review your medical history and ensure that you’re informed about all aspects of the procedure. Brow lift prices depend on a number of factors including the extent of the surgery and if you have additional corrective procedures done at the same time. The patient coordinator can walk you through financing options to cover the brow lift cost.
This is typically an outpatient procedure that takes 1 to 3 hours. It’s performed with local anesthesia (often paired with conscious sedation to keep you relaxed). With a coronal brow lift, the surgeon makes an incision across the top of the head from ear to ear. This allows the surgeon to lift the forehead skin and tighten various underlying tissues as needed. A strip of skin is also removed to provide maximum lifting of the entire forehead area.
In an endoscopic brow lift, several short incisions are made along the hairline to allow the surgeon to tighten targeted areas. A small fiber optic instrument called an endoscope is inserted into the incisions to help the surgeon see the muscles and connective tissue during the procedure.
With either type of brow lift, permanent sutures may be inserted under the skin to lift and hold underlying structures in the desired position. External brow lift incisions may be closed with removable or dissolving sutures, clips, or surgical adhesives. A small tube may be temporarily placed to drain fluid from the incision.
Brow lift recovery times vary depending on the type of procedure. If you have a coronal brow lift, you can expect the site to take significantly longer to fully heal. You may need to rest for a week or more before resuming normal activities. Swelling, bruising and some pain are typical side effects of this surgery. Stitches are removed in about a week and healing of the incisions can take several weeks. The final effects of the forehead lift may not be apparent for several months. Following your surgeon’s post-procedure instructions carefully is critical for the best outcome.
This operation carries many of the same complication risks as other types of plastic surgery. Potential complications that are unique to brow lifts include:
- Hair loss along the incision lines
- A hairline that is too high
- Nerve injury causing weakness or paralysis of facial muscles
- Asymmetrical results requiring revision surgery
- Changes in sensation such as numbness, tingling or itching
- Sutures in the underlying tissue that cause irritation or become visible through the skin
- Eye irritation or dryness
A brow lift can smooth out the forehead and raise the eyebrows and eyelids to a more youthful position. Many patients feel they look much younger and less tired after this surgery.