A brow lift or forehead lift is a facial plastic surgery procedure to remove loose skin from the forehead, narrowing the distance between the eyebrows and a hairline. A brow lift reduces wrinkles in the forehead and bridge of the nose by gently stretching the skin. A brow lift or forehead lift also reduces the appearance of glabellar lines or “frown” lines, which are the vertical lines that appear on the forehead.
As we age, our eyebrows tend to droop or sag. This is the natural process of facial aging caused by years of gravity, looser skin, and weaker facial muscles. The result of facial aging is quite striking. Sagging, drooping eyebrows are strong indicator of facial age. People instinctually see sagging eyebrows and make an unconscious estimate of a person’s age. This is particularly unfortunate for people who have premature facial aging, that is, a person’s facial age is older than their actual age. In any case, sagging eyebrows are a sign of an aged face. Fortunately, a brow lift can reverse these strong visual signs.
During a brow lift, the eyebrows are raised to a more youthful position. In other words, the eyebrows are physically pulled to the place they were when the person was a young adult. Excess skin and fat are sometimes removed to accentuate the youthful appearance. Moreover, repositioning of the eyebrows makes people appear more alert and engaged, which is a subtle sign of youthfulness.
Your facial plastic surgeon may discuss several brow lift treatment approaches with you. Options include an endoscopic forehead lift, pretrichial eyebrow, or the direct brow lift. The main differences in these brow lift procedures are the locations and sizes of the incisions used. In all cases, the incisions are “hidden” within the hairline of the scalp and eyebrows. Forehead lift procedures may be performed under general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and twilight sedation. The procedure itself generally takes less than two hours to perform.
Facial plastic surgery procedures tend to cause mild swelling and bruising for several days after the procedure. You will be required to wear bandages for up to 10 days after the procedure, and sutures are usually removed within 7 to 10 days. Most people can expect full healing of the face within two weeks.
A brow lift alone can have remarkable effects on the appearance of the face. It can remove both horizontal wrinkles and vertical creases, and lift the eyebrows into a youthful position. However many patients want to take this facial rejuvenation a step further by combining a brow lift with other facial plastic surgery procedures. Indeed, people who have sagging eyebrows and forehead wrinkles often also have age-related changes to their upper and lower eyelids, cheeks, jowls, and neck. It is very common for people to also have blepharoplasty, also called eyelid surgery, during the brow lift procedure. Blepharoplasty makes the upper and/or lower eyelid appear more youthful. Patients may also choose to have a facelift, which reduces wrinkles and tightens the skin in the cheeks jowls and upper neck. Lastly, laser skin resurfacing procedures to remove a number of age-related skin changes such as dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and spider veins.