With age and sun exposure, eyebrows can drop, skin can droop, and deep horizontal wrinkles can develop across the forehead - contributing to a heavy brow and tired look. As brows drop, many people naturally use their forehead muscles to lift the eyebrows, creating even deeper brow wrinkles.
A forehead lift is a procedure that removes sagging skin and repositions the eyebrows, reducing hooding over the eyes, and creating a smoother, younger, but still animated brow. This procedure is sometimes combined with other procedures, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery, to rejuvenate the entire face. A brow lift is a popular procedure for both men and women.
If you have no major medical problems and wish to have a less tired or "angry" expression and smoother, more youthful-looking brows, you may be a good candidate for a brow lift. You must be emotionally mature, understand your motivations for having this procedure, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve. You should not be a smoker.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your concerns and the results you want from a brow lift. After a careful examination, your surgeon will advise you on which procedure best fits your circumstances and will lead to the results you want.
General anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with IV sedation
Day surgery 1.5-2 hours surgery time.
1-2 hours in recovery
Resume light activity the next day.
Return to work in 1-4 weeks depending on job
The surgery involves lifting the skin and the deep layers of the forehead using incisions along or within the hairline. The surgery may also involve lifting or repositioning the muscles to correct how they pull on the eyebrows and contribute to deep wrinkle lines.
As there are a number of techniques, the type of brow lift that is best for you depends on your skin quality, how much extra skin you have, and the position of your eyebrows and hairline.
Regardless of technique, the goal of all brow lift surgery is to restore a more youthful, natural, and smoother appearance to the forehead and eyebrows. The surgery is performed as a day-care surgery, which means an overnight hospital stay is not required. It can be done under general anesthetic or with IV sedation. In all of the techniques, any scarring is hidden in the hair and no hair is shaved during the procedure, which minimizes post-operative down-time.
You will have a preoperative visit with a nurse to review the details of what to expect during your surgery and recovery. You may need to get some baseline blood tests and possibly meet with an anesthesiologist prior to surgery.
You will be asked to stop taking all over-the-counter pain or fever medicines (except Tylenol) and blood thinners for two weeks prior to your procedure. Many herbal medicines can also cause bleeding and so need to be stopped before surgery, such as ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and high doses of fish oil, flax seed oil, or vitamin E.
If you regularly dye your hair, you should do this before the surgery because chemical hair dying around the incisions should be avoided for at least one month after the procedure.
While most patients don't have a significant amount of pain following a brow lift, you may require pain medications for the first few days following the surgery. Most patients are able to resume light work or school within 1-2 weeks. Heavy lifting should be avoided for the first 2-4 weeks following surgery, so parents of young children may want extra help during this time. Most bruising and swelling subsides within 3 weeks. It will take 6-12 months for any subtle residual swelling to resolve so you can see the final benefit of your surgery.
As with any surgery, there are risks. These can include the normal surgical risks of infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bruising, bleeding, and anesthetic reaction. Complications specific to this surgery can include asymmetry, numb skin, and contour irregularities. However, all risks in this procedure are rare. They will all be discussed further during your consultation.