Facial Surgery

Brow lifting

Brow lifting

A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation, is a cosmetic procedure to raise the brows. A brow lift improves the appearance of the forehead, the brow and the area around the eyes by 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 brow asymmetry. 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 (blepharoplasty) or a face-lift.

How you prepare

Initially, you’ll talk to a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon about a brow lift. During your first visit, your surgeon will likely:

  • Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions. Talk about any medications you’re taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you’ve had. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications.
  • Do a physical exam. To determine your treatment options, the doctor will examine and measure different parts of your face with your eyes open and closed. The doctor might also take photographs for your medical record.
  • Discuss your expectations. Explain why you want a brow lift, and what you’re hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks.

During the procedure

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.

  • Endoscopic brow lift. Your surgeon will make several small incisions behind your hairline. He or she will then insert a long thin tube with a light and a tiny camera mounted on its end (endoscope) through one of the incisions to view your underlying muscles and tissues.Using an instrument inserted through another incision, your surgeon will lift your forehead tissues and anchor them in place with sutures, small screws or another technique. Your incisions are then closed with stitches or small clips.
  • Coronal brow lift. Your surgeon will make an incision behind your hairline across the top of your head, from ear to ear or primarily on the top of your head. He or she will lift your forehead 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. Your surgeon will make an incision between the top of your forehead and the beginning of your hairline. He or she will remove a small amount of skin and tissue from the top of your forehead, rather than your scalp. As a result, your hairline won’t be pulled back.A hairline brow lift is often used if someone has a high receding hairline. However, depending upon healing, a scar might be visible along the hairline.

Brow lift surgery typically takes about one to two hours.

How do you prepare

Before you have laser resurfacing, your doctor will likely:

  • Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions and any medications you’re taking or you’ve taken recently, as well as any cosmetic procedures you’ve had in the past.
  • Do a physical exam. Your doctor will inspect your skin and the area that will be treated. This will help him or her determine what changes can be made and how your physical features — for example, the tone and thickness of your skin — might affect your results.
  • Discuss your expectations. Talk with your doctor about your motivations and expectations, as well as the potential risks. Make sure you understand how long it’ll take to heal and what your results might be.

Before laser resurfacing, you might also need to:

  • Take medication to prevent complications. If you’re having ablative laser resurfacing — or nonablative laser resurfacing and you have a history of herpes infections around your mouth — your doctor will prescribe an antiviral medication before and after treatment to prevent a viral infection. Your doctor might recommend taking an oral antibiotic medication around the time of the procedure to help prevent a bacterial infection. In addition, your doctor might recommend using a topical retinoid on your skin for four weeks before having ablative laser resurfacing.
  • Avoid unprotected sun exposure. Too much sun up to two months before the procedure can cause permanent irregular pigmentation in treated areas. Discuss sun protection and acceptable sun exposure with your doctor.
  • Arrange for a ride home. If you’re going to be sedated during laser resurfacing, you’ll need help getting home after the procedure.

After the procedure

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 doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions. In the first few days after a brow lift:

  • Rest with your head elevated and take pain medication as recommended by your doctor
  • Apply cold compresses to relieve swelling
  • Avoid exposing your incisions to excessive pressure or motion

As your incisions heal, you might experience itching and numbness, which will likely lessen over time. If your incisions are covered in bandages, your doctor will likely remove them in one to three days. Sutures typically will be removed within seven to 10 days of surgery.

Ask your doctor when it’s OK to resume daily activities, such as washing and drying your hair and bathing. Keep in mind that 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:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeats

Results

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.

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