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 lift the eyebrows, making the eyes look more open and reduce the deep horizontal creases across the forehead and the frown lines between the eyebrows.
Common Brow-Lift Techniques
There are two techniques used for performing brow lifts. The classic lift requires a long incision that runs across the top of the head, at the hairline, and down to the ears. This is a good choice for individuals with a tall forehead who would like a forehead reduction at the same time. The endoscopic lift employs five small incisions that are made across the forehead, at the hairline. These shorter incisions mean a shorter recovery time and less scarring than those from a traditional brow lift.
The Brow-Lift Procedure
Brow-lift surgery usually takes about 2 hours to perform, and takes place at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite, or an ambulatory center. Either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation is used. Depending on the surgical technique used, one long incision or a series of 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) are closed with sutures and staples. A temporary 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 with a head wrap. The headwrap is generally removed in the office the day after 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 for a few days. 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 should be 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