Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift is a surgical procedure performed to reduce signs of aging in the forehead area. It aims to remove or minimize deep horizontal creases across the forehead and bridge of the nose, and the frown lines between the eyebrows. It also lifts the eyebrows, making the eyes look more open.
Common Brow-Lift Techniques
There are different techniques used for performing brow lifts. The classic lift requires a long incision that runs across the top of the head, at the hair line, and down to the ears. However, for a woman who has a high forehead, a coronal incision, which is made behind the hairline, may be used. The temporal brow lift requires two small incisions that are made within the hairline. These shorter incisions mean a shorter recovery time and less scarring than those from a traditional brow lift.
Which technique is chosen depends on the thickness, texture and elasticity of the skin, the bone structure of the face, the overall appearance of eyebrows and eyelids, and the position of the eyebrows.
The Brow-Lift Procedure
Brow-lift surgery usually takes about 2 hours to perform, and is done as outpatient surgery. Either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation are used. Depending on the surgical technique used, one long incision or two small incisions are made. Tissue and muscle underneath the skin are moved or repositioned as necessary. At the end of the procedure, the incision(s) is closed with sutures or staples; a drain may be put in to collect excess blood and fluid.
Recovery from a Brow Lift
A patient typically returns home on the day of the brow-lift surgery. Swelling may be pronounced for the first day or two after surgery, although most swelling goes away within 2 weeks. To prevent post-operative bleeding, bending and heavy lifting should be avoided until cleared by Dr. Deziel. It can take up to 6 months for swelling to fully subside and scars to fade.
Results of a Brow Lift
Depending on the patient's presurgical appearance and goals, a brow lift's results, which can be seen immediately, can be either subtle or dramatic. Eyes will appear more "open," and creases across the forehead, bridge of the nose, and between the eyes will be much less prominent.
Risks Associated with a Brow Lift
Prior to scheduling surgery, the patient and surgeon should fully discuss the risks associated with a brow lift. In addition to those associated with any type of surgery, a brow lift's risks include the following:
- Hair loss around the incision site(s)
- Facial asymmetry
- Higher hairline
- Injury to facial nerves
- Eye dryness/irritation
The chance of complications is minimized by choosing a plastic surgeon like Dr. Deziel who has experience in performing brow lifts.