Brow Lift Surgery Can Offer a Smoother, Well-Rested Facial Appearance
The facial plastic surgeons at University Hospitals have expertise in performing brow lift procedures to give patients a rejuvenated appearance. Also known as a forehead lift, this surgical procedure lifts the eyebrows to achieve a higher position and more youthful arch, improve frown lines, and create a less “grumpy” look which can result when the position of the eyebrows becomes more relaxed over time.
In addition, if drooping eyebrows and excess eyelid skin are restricting your vision, a brow lift might be considered medically necessary, not simply cosmetic, and may be covered by insurance.
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To schedule a consultation with a UH facial plastic surgeon, call 440-446-8600.Schedule Online
Ideal Candidates for Brow Lift Surgery
The best candidate for an eyebrow lift is a person whose brows have begun to descend or sag, making them look tired, sad or angry. Deepened, prominent frown lines and/or deep furrows between the eyes are additional indications for brow lift surgery. This procedure is often done along with a facelift to achieve a smoother facial appearance.
Most patients that undergo this procedure are in their 40s to 60s, or younger if there is a hereditary factor present in the family. If you have these signs, a brow lift might be right for you:
- Heavy forehead creases and wrinkles
- Low eyebrow position that makes you look tired or grumpy
- Restricted vision from excess eyelid skin or eyebrow droop
Types of Brow Lift Surgery
Brow lift techniques are patient-specific and vary in terms of the incision length and location (how well the incision is hidden). The approach we choose will depend on the specific anatomic features of your forehead and hairline. The two main types of brow lift surgery we offer include:
- Endoscopic brow lift
The most common type of brow lift we offer is the endoscopic brow lift. We perform this surgery with the use of a long camera through multiple small incisions hidden in the hair. We then loosen or excise the muscles that cause deep wrinkles in the forehead and eyebrows and lift up the skin to elevate the eyebrows. We cut away the excess skin and place small absorbable implants to secure the forehead skin in its new position. The endoscopic approach results in minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time than the classic forehead lift.
Occasionally, during an endoscopic brow lift, unforeseen problems may arise and the surgeon may decide to switch to a classic brow lift procedure, which can result in a larger scar and a longer recovery time.
- Classic or coronal brow lift
The surgeon makes a cut or incision that starts at about ear level and goes across the top of the forehead to the other ear. In most cases, the incision will be made right at the hairline for optimal cosmetic results. The surgeon then carefully lifts the skin of the forehead, removes any excess tissue and fat and, if needed, realigns the muscles. During the procedure, the eyebrows may also be placed at a higher level. Any excess skin is trimmed.
Before Your Brow Lift Surgery
Before scheduling your brow lift procedure, your surgeon will meet with you to discuss your expectations and concerns. During this same consultation, your surgeon will perform an extensive evaluation of your face, eyes and forehead, and take photographs of the area in question from several different angles. Based on this evaluation, your surgeon will present you with the recommended surgical approach for you and discuss the limitations and risks of brow lift surgery.
Patients are advised to avoid consumption of aspirin and NSAIDS for three weeks before and one week after the surgery.
After Brow Lift Surgery
No surgical procedure is entirely without risk. Short term side effects of brow lift surgery may include:
- Numbness and temporary discomfort around the incisions
- Swelling and bruising around the eyes (usually subsides in 7-10 days)
- Numbness on the top of your scalp that over time may be replaced by itching
And, although rare, some patients may experience the following complications after their procedure:
- Scar formation. In rare cases, you may have a more visible scar. Surgery can be done to remove the wide scar tissue. This allows a new, thinner scar to appear.
- Eyebrow movement problems. Also rare, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured. You may not be able to raise your eyebrows or wrinkle your forehead. Surgery may be needed to fix this problem.
- Hair loss. You may have hair loss over the scar or just surrounding the scar.
- Sensation loss. . It’s common to lose feeling around the incision. This happens most often with the classic forehead lift. It's often short-term, but can be permanent. Rarely, you may have pain that continues.
Brow lift procedures are typically performed in an outpatient surgery facility and take from 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. Patients are advised to refrain from strenuous activities for three weeks after the surgery but can usually resume social activities and return to work after 7-10 days or once the swelling has resolved.