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A brow lift, also know as a forehead lift, is an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery, generally done when a patient wants to remove signs of aging. A small incision is made at the forehead to remove excess fat and tissue, smoothing out unwanted furrows and deep forehead lines. A forehead lift is often done in conjunction with other surgeries such as hair transplants, fat transfers, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and a facelift.
Done as outpatient surgery, a patient will come and go in the same day. The surgery is usually completed in 1-2 hours, using only local anesthesia.
A conventional method calls for one long incision to be made from ear to ear, crossing over the forehead. This forehead skin is lifted, and the excess skin, tissue, and fat are trimmed. Any muscular repositioning will be done as well. After the removal, the incision is closed with stitches or clips and bandaged. The bandages can be removed in 2 days, and the stitches will remain for approximately 2 weeks.
In an endoscopic forehead lift, the surgeon will create several small incisions within the scalp. An endoscopic tool is inserted and creates a visual map of the forehead, while another instrument is inserted into the same incisions to lift and remove the fat, muscle and skin. These incisions are closed with either screws or sutures that are removed within 1 week.
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Frequently Asked Questions
A brow lift, also commonly called a forehead lift, rejuvenates the face above the eyes to restore a more refreshed appearance that better reflects a patient’s natural vibrance. By removing excess sagging, skin on the forehead and repositioning the underlying muscles and tissues, a brow lift can correct a heavy, sagging brow, eliminate deep furrows, and restore a smoother, more youthful contour to the upper one-third of the face.
The problem with an aging forehead is the effect it has on our facial expressions—a sagging, heavily furrowed brow can cause us to look constantly tired, worried or even angry. Some of us are also genetically inclined to have a heavier, thicker brow, making us look as though we are wearing a frown even when we are feeling our best. A brow lift directly addresses these issues, helping patients enjoy a more naturally refreshed appearance as well as other positive changes:
- Others may find you more approachable, as they no longer mistakenly perceive you as angry or concerned
- Your eyes will appear brighter and more naturally alert
- Self-confidence can improve as you are no longer worried about looking “worried”
Brow lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, performed using general anesthesia or intravenous sedation with local anesthesia. The duration of surgery depends on the type of brow lift as well as whether or not another procedure is being performed at the same time. Your incisions may be closed with sutures or staples, which are typically removed about 1 week after surgery.
Patients typically experience very little pain after a brow lift, but it is common to feel slight discomfort as well as a sensation of tightness throughout the forehead. Swelling and bruising are most common during the first 10 days or so after surgery, and are mostly resolved after about 2 weeks.
The timeline for resuming activity after a brow lift depends on the individual—if you are having a brow lift alone, recovery is usually much quicker than that for a patient having a brow lift in conjunction with a facelift or other more extensive procedure.
Below are typical recovery milestones following brow lift surgery:
- Day of surgery: walking around the house in encouraged.
- 1 to 2 days after surgery: showering is permitted; be gentle around your incision sites.
- 1 week after surgery: return to a sedentary job; some patients are able to return to work earlier. You may tire more easily, so consider a limited work schedule initially. If you are concerned about visible bruising, your cosmetic surgeon can recommend options for camouflage makeup.
- 1 to 2 weeks after surgery: resume driving, as long as you have full mobility and are no longer taking prescription pain medication.
- 2 to 4 weeks after surgery: gradually resume exercise; your cosmetic surgeon will provide guidance for which activities are allowed.
When performed by an experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeon, the improvements made with brow lift surgery will last for many years to come. However, nothing can stop the normal aging process, and eventually your forehead tissues will begin to settle with time and gravity. You can help keep your results looking their best by living a healthy lifestyle. Wear sunscreen daily, eat a diet rich in whole foods and vitamins, and don’t smoke. This will help keep your body healthy and skin looking its best.
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