A sagging, furrowed brow is often one of the most visible signs of aging. As people get older, they begin to lose elasticity in their skin, and the muscle and fat begins to lose its tone. At the brow line, this can create deep wrinkles that appear as a perpetual scowl, as well as a hooded appearance that makes one look old, tired, or angry.
A brow lift, also called a forehead lift, is a surgical procedure designed to reverse these effects by removing excess skin, and by tightening and raising the tissue in the brow area to give the eyes a more open, approachable, and youthful look while simultaneously smoothing out forehead wrinkles and frown lines.
You’ll be given anesthesia. Depending on the type of eyebrow lift and if you’re doing other procedures, it’ll be given locally or via an IV. Once the anesthesia kicks in and you’re comfortable, your surgeon will make the incisions and perform the eyebrow lift. Then the incisions are closed with stitches or staples, and you’ll start recovering.
Due to the anesthesia, you will need someone to bring you to your surgery, stay while it’s performed, and bring you home. You’ll be given instructions on how to care for the incisions, which may include keeping the area clean and dry, avoiding strenuous activity, and taking pain medication as needed.
There are two primary types of eyebrow lifts currently in use, the open brow lift and the endoscopic brow lift. Which procedure is right for you depends entirely on your goals, and the decision should be made based on the recommendation of which board-certified plastic surgeon you’re working with.
The traditional open brow lift, also called the coronal brow lift, is preferred by many patients who have extensive drooping in the brow and the upper eyelid. In a coronal brow lift, the surgeon lifts and smoothes the forehead by an incision in the scalp behind the hairline, eliminating deep furrows, then tightens the skin over the area, pulling it taut to create a tighter, firmer brow line.
The endoscopic brow lift, a less invasive alternative to the open brow lift, is a modified procedure that can be ideal for patients who suffer from drooping and wrinkling in the brow area, and who prefer a subtler, less invasive procedure. In an endoscopic brow lift, the surgeon accesses the brow area through small scalp incisions with a thin flexible scope. The surgeon then smoothes any deep furrows and tightens the skin along the brow to eliminate wrinkling, to create a calmer and more youthful looking brow line.
After the surgery, you may have drains, your forehead may be taped, and your head may be wrapped. This is to help with the swelling and bruising that is common after an eyebrow lift. These symptoms should significantly improve after 10-14 days and that’s when most patients can return to work and normal activities, although exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided until your surgeon says it’s okay to do those things. You will need to follow up with your plastic surgeon for a postoperative evaluation, and any sutures or staples will be removed at this time. Don’t worry – brow lift scars aren’t typically visible and will fade within the first year.
Being in good overall health, a nonsmoker, and over the age of 18 are the three key elements that make an ideal candidate for an eyebrow lift. Also having realistic expectations for what a brow lift can do for you, and understanding the risks of surgery are important. If you’re interested, schedule a consultation.
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