As one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Florida, we see quite a few patients seeking eyebrow lifts every week. The eyebrow lift procedure has become a very popular cosmetic surgery in Florida for Men and Women aged 40 and up. Eyebrow lifts are very easy procedures that can often be done in office. This makes eyelid surgery quite convenient for patients who can’t afford much downtime.
A forehead lift or “brow lift / Eyebrow Lift Procedure” is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired.
Using traditional open eyebrow lifts, endoscopic eyebrow lifts, or minimally invasive brow lift methods, involve alteration of the muscles above the eyes to smooth lines and raise the eyebrows for a more youthful appearance. The procedure is often combined with other operations such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and facelift to improve the look of the eyes and other areas of the face.
While brow lifts are typically performed on patients aged 40-60 to counteract the effects of aging, anyone with lined or drooping skin on the forehead – whether it’s caused by muscle activity or inherited conditions – are eligible. The procedure is usually performed in a surgery center with local anesthesia and sedation, but the minimally invasive lateral brow lifts can be performed in the office using local anesthesia.
If you aren’t sure whether you want a brow lift, try standing in front of a mirror and placing the palms of your hands to the sides of your eyes above the eyebrows. Then pull the skin up from the eyes, raising the forehead. This is approximately how the procedure will make you look.
Am I a good candidate for a Brow Lift?
If you’re experiencing deep forehead creases, drooping eyebrows or eyelid hooding, and you are otherwise healthy, a forehead lift or brow lift may be appropriate for you. Some patients get tired of receiving Botox injection and may opt for a brow lift to permanently alter the frowning muscles that are typically injected with Botox.
How is a brow lift performed?
Brow lifts are usually performed under either IV sedation or general anesthesia in an accredited surgery facility as an outpatient (meaning you don’t spend the night in the hospital). There are three procedures used: Endoscopic Brow Lift, Traditional or Open Brow Lift, and the minimally invasive Lateral Subcutaneous lift. The decision about which procedure will be used is made during your consultation. The length of the procedure ranges from one to three hours.
The Endoscopic Brow Lift involves placing four tiny incisions in the hair and uses a tiny camera and instruments to perform the procedure. The Traditional or Open Brow Lift may be performed in one of two ways: with the conventional incision over the top of the head or with a hairline incision, for people who have an extremely high hairline. Both Endoscopic and Traditional techniques produce similar results, and both can include alteration of the brow muscles usually injected with Botox.
The Lateral Subcutaneous Brow Lift involves a small incision at the hairline and into the hair by the temples to elevate the outside 1/3 to 1/2 of the brow. There is no access to the muscles normally targeted with Botox with this technique, but it can be performed in the office under local anesthesia in select patients.
Recovery from a brow lift
For the endoscopic or traditional procedure, most discomfort will be gone in about 5 to 7 days, and most patients are back to full activity within two weeks. You will experience some bruising and swelling around the eyes and forehead which can be relieved with cold compresses or ice packs and generally resolves in 5-10 days.
You’ll come back into the office within the first few days for your first postoperative visit at which time any non-absorbable sutures will be removed, depending on your rate of healing.
Traditional-surgery patients may experience some numbness and discomfort at the incision and on the top of the head. Numbness could be replaced by itching, which will subside within 6-12 months. Your head may need to be elevated for two to three days to reduce swelling. Bandages are removed in one to two days, and stitches or clips are taken out in two weeks. Hair near the incision may fall out or thin, but normal growth should return within several weeks or a few months.
Endoscopic surgery patients may experience some numbness, discomfort and swelling around the incisions, though there is less itching than with traditional surgery. Stitches or staples are removed in a week; temporary fixation screws are taken out within two.
Lateral Subcutaneous Lift patients may have numbness just near the incision, but you will feel we within a day or two. Some of the stitches will need to be removed 5-7 days after surgery, and sometimes absorbable sutures or staples are used behind the hairline.
With all procedures, you will be on your feet and able to wash your hair in a day or two, and many patients return to work in 7-10 days or less. Swelling and bruising should fade completely by the third week.
Complications are usually minor and include temporary numbness, hair loss along scar edges, excessive bruising, and poor scarring requiring surgical correction. More concerning risks are infection, bleeding, and nerve damage, which are all rare.