What is a Brow Lift?
A brow lift, also referred to as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation, is a popular surgical procedure used to correct sagging or asymmetrical eyebrows by raising the forehead. The surgery is also effective for smoothing forehead lines and wrinkles, depending on the type of brow lift.
There are many different techniques for brow lifts. While results are long-lasting, they are not permanent. Your skin continues to lose elasticity as you age. Some techniques are more invasive than others, and the right choice will depend on your specific needs. The procedure is helpful for those with deep forehead lines, as well as for people with low-set brows.
Brow Lift FAQs
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What are the different types of brow lifts?
Surgical brow lifts tighten the skin, reduce wrinkles, and make your eyes look larger to help you look younger. There are different types of brow lifts to consider, and the best choice will depend on the type of results that you want, as well as your hairline.
Coronal Brow Lift
A coronal brow lift is the longest-standing technique, and it is still used by plastic surgeons. The procedure involves a single incision that made from ear to ear along the hairline along the top of your forehead. Coronal brow lift is a good option if you have a smaller forehead. There is a risk of nerve damage with this technique that may cause facial numbness. This risk is why plastic surgeons prefer endoscopic lifts over coronal brow lifts. The technique, though, is more effective for correcting asymmetrical eyebrows, adjusting the length of the forehead, and for correcting deep frown lines.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
An endoscopic brow lift is the procedure that is favored by most surgeons. It is less invasive and requires only a series of small incisions. The surgeon makes four to five incisions behind the hairline. A small endoscope with a camera allows the surgeon to evaluate the forehead tissue and determine the best location for another incision. This subsequent incision is used to gently pull the skin taut and lift the forehead area. The endoscopic brow lift technique allows the surgeon to avoid the nerves that are close to the eyebrow area. Incisions are minimal, so patients experience less discomfort and have shorter recoveries. The technique also reduces the risk of numbness after the procedure.
An endoscopic brow lift can’t be used for treating horizontal wrinkles or asymmetrical eyebrows. It is not a good option if you have skin laxity.
Temporal Brow Lift
Also referred to as a lateral brow lift or limited incision lift, a temporal brow lift is a technique that only targets the outer third of the eyebrows (not the full brow area). This is the area where drooping tends to be most significant as we age. The procedure is often combined with an upper eyelid lift. The same incisions may be used to lift the area between the brows to smooth out frown lines. The incisions are slightly larger than with an endoscopic lift, and they are placed immediately behind the hairline. This is a low-risk procedure with a shorter recovery time, but the results aren’t as dramatic as other techniques.
Trans-Blepharoplasty Brow Lift
A trans-blepharoplasty brow lift is similar to a temporal brow lift. The brow is lifted through a blepharoplasty eyelid incision. This is considered a minimally-invasive technique, and it typically requires a shorter recovery time.
Trichophytic Brow Lift
A trichophytic brow lift is a popular option for patients who have higher hairlines. It involves removing part of the skin in the forehead area to lift the eyebrows. The incision is made behind the hairline to camouflage the scar.
Browpexy is a relatively new technique. It is used to raise the brow slightly, and it is usually performed in conjunction with an eyelid lift. There are two types of browpexy.
- Internal browpexy: Small incisions are made in the upper eyelid. Excess tissue and muscle is removed from the brow bone to lift the area.
- External browpexy: The incision is made over the eyebrow and excess tissue and muscle is removed.
As part of browpexy, the brow tissue is secured in place with sutures. Scarring is minimal, and a browpexy offers a significantly more affordable alternative to other brow lift techniques.
What can I expect from the surgery?
Your surgeon recommends the best brow lift technique based on your facial structure and your aesthetic goals. Factors that are considered include any asymmetry in the brow area, depth of horizontal lines, forehead height, and your hair color and type.
All brow lift techniques involve incisions and lifting the skin, although the size and location of the incisions vary. Therefore, you are sedated for the duration of the surgery. Most brow lift techniques take under two hours. You go home the same day after a short time in recovery, but you will need someone to drive you home.
What is the recovery period like?
After brow lift surgery, you will need to take approximately two weeks off from work to recover. The pain associated with a brow lift is typically minimal. Your surgeon may recommend non-prescription pain medication or prescribe a pain medication.
Expect to have some swelling and bruising. Your surgeon may recommend using cold compresses to manage the swelling. You may have bandages over the area that your surgeon may remove after one to two days. The sutures may be dissolvable, or you may need to return to the surgeon’s office to have them removed approximately seven to ten days after the surgery.
While you are healing, keep your head elevated. Avoid moving around too much for the first week. Avoid exercise for the first month.
Recovery from a brow lift takes approximately two to three weeks. As the incisions heal, you will see scars start to develop. Initially, the scars will be slightly pink. Over the next 12 months, the scars will change to closely match the natural color of your skin. Once the area is completely healed, the scars are slightly darker than the surrounding skin, yet barely noticeable due to the location.
You will see the initial results of your brow lift immediately after the surgery. The skin will be slightly tight due to swelling, so the results may look a bit too dramatic. After a few weeks, the tissues relax and swelling subsides. This is when you can start to see the final results of the surgery.
If you have had a coronal lift, you may experience some numbness on your scalp for a few months.
How long does a forehead lift last?
An endoscopic browlift lasts approximately five years or less. The results of an endo-temporal lift may last five to seven years. Coronal brow lift surgery offers the longest-lasting results of more than ten years. Your skin continues to age, even after a brow lift. You may need a secondary brow lift to maintain the results. Your surgeon explains how you can maximize the longevity of the procedure.
Are there any risks?
The risks involved with a forehead lift are considered low. There may be some visible scarring, temporary or permanent numbness, brow asymmetry, and hair loss at the incision site. Brow asymmetry typically resolves during the initial healing period. Other potential side effects include hematoma, nausea and vomiting from the anesthesia, and higher risk of infection or nerve damage.
What is the best age for a brow lift?
Most people opt for a brow lift between the age of 40 and 65. The procedure is also performed on younger patients who have heavy brows or pronounced furrowing between the brows.
What is the cost of a brow lift?
In AL the average cost of a forehead lift is approximately $4,000. The total cost depends on the cosmetic surgeon you choose, the technique, fees for the anesthesia and medical facilities, and other factors. Brow lifts are elective cosmetic procedures; therefore, the cost is not covered by health insurance. Because of this, many people consider the cost of the surgery as a high priority when choosing a plastic surgeon. While finding an affordable option is important, balance quality of care and results with the cost.
Are there alternatives to a brow lift?
Brow lifts are performed in conjunction with an upper eyelid lift and/or a facelift to maximize the anti-aging benefits of the surgery. You may save money by having these procedures in the same surgical appointment, but the downtime and recovery will be longer.
Botox® is an alternative to a brow lift. The injections work by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause lines in the forehead and eye area. The results are more subtle than a brow lift and last only four to six months. Your plastic surgeon may determine that your lines and wrinkles are too severe for Botox® injections and recommend a brow lift to correct a sagging brow and forehead area.
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