Learn about this surgery that can raise sagging brows and reduce wrinkles on the forehead. Also understand the possible risks of the procedure.
A brow lift is a cosmetic procedure to raise the brows. It's also known as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation. A brow lift improves the appearance of the forehead, the brow and the area around the eyes. The procedure involves raising the soft tissue and skin of the forehead and brow.
You might choose to have a brow lift if you have a low, sagging brow or uneven brows. A brow lift might also boost your self-confidence.
A brow lift can be done alone or with other facial procedures, such as eyelid surgery or a face-lift.
Aging typically causes the brows to move down. Skin and soft tissues lose the ability to snap back into place after being stretched. This causes the distance between the eyebrows and eyelashes to shorten.
The lower position of the eyebrows can make you look tired, angry or sad. A brow lift can raise the eyebrows and may provide a refreshed appearance.
You might consider a brow lift if you have a low or sagging brow that's contributing to sagging upper eyelids.
A brow lift poses several risks, including:
Like any other type of major surgery, a brow lift poses a risk of bleeding, infection and a reaction to anesthesia.
Initially, you'll talk to a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon about a brow lift. During your first visit, your surgeon will likely:
Before a brow lift you might also need to:
A brow lift is done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical center. During a brow lift, you'll typically be comfortable with the aid of sedation anesthesia given through an IV in your arm. Or you may be given general anesthesia.
Brow lift techniques vary depending on your desired results. The specific technique your surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.
Your surgeon might use one of the following techniques:
Endoscopic brow lift. In this procedure, several small incisions are made behind the hairline. A long thin tube with a light and a tiny camera mounted on its end is inserted through one of the incisions to view the underlying muscles and tissues.
Using an instrument inserted through another incision, the surgeon lifts the forehead tissues and anchors them in place with sutures, small screws or another technique. The incisions are then closed with stitches or small clips.
Coronal brow lift. This procedure involves making an incision behind the hairline across the top of the head, from ear to ear or primarily on the top of the head. Then the forehead is lifted into its new position, with the scalp in front of the incision overlapping the scalp behind it.
The overlapping scalp is then removed, and the remaining scalp is sewn together. This technique is not typically done in people who have high hairlines, thin hair or who are likely to lose their hair.
Hairline brow lift. For this procedure, an incision is made between the top of the forehead and the beginning of the hairline. A small amount of skin and tissue is removed from the top of the forehead, rather than your scalp. This can correct a high hairline.
A hairline brow lift is often used if someone has a high, receding hairline. However, a scar might be visible along the hairline, depending on the placement of the incisions, scar healing and hairstyle.
Brow lift surgery typically takes about 1 to 2 hours.
After a brow lift, your forehead might be loosely wrapped to minimize swelling. A small tube might be placed along the incision site to drain any excess blood or fluid.
Your health care provider will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions. In the first few days after a brow lift:
As your incisions heal, you might experience itching and numbness, which will likely lessen over time. If your incisions are covered in bandages, they'll likely be removed in 1 to 3 days. Sutures typically will be removed within 7 to 10 days of surgery.
Ask your health care provider when it's OK to resume daily activities, such as washing and drying your hair and bathing. Keep in mind that the swelling might last several weeks.
Incision lines will fade over time. You might use makeup to conceal any prolonged bruising.
After a brow lift, contact your doctor immediately if you have:
By raising the soft tissue and skin of your forehead and brow, a brow lift can give your face a more youthful appearance.
Keep in mind that brow lift results won't last forever. As you age your facial skin might begin to droop again. Sun damage also can age your skin.