As we age, gravity and genetics can make the brows sag, leading to wrinkles and frown lines in the brows. But a brow lift can reverse these effects and tighten the tissues in the forehead to make you look younger.
If you find that your brows are sagging and changing your facial expression to something you don’t want, a brow lift could be what you need.
Some of the things a brow lift can do for you include:
- Reduce lines and wrinkles on the forehead that develop horizontally, as well as ones that develop between your eyes
- Reduce frown lines, which are the vertical creases that form between your eyebrows
- Raise brows that are sagging and drooping over the upper eyelids
- Raise the position of the eyebrows to make you look younger and more alert
Brow Lift Procedure
There are three basic types of brow lift – the classic, endoscopic and temporal brow lift. Which one you will have depends on the judgment of your plastic surgeon.
Classic Brow Lift
This procedure also is known as a coronal brow lift. It is done under general anesthesia and features an incision that starts above the ear and follows your hairline up to your forehead to the ear.
The surgeon carefully lifts the skin of your forehead so they can adjust the tissues, fat, and facial muscles to slightly raise things up.
After the surgeon cuts away extra skin, the incision is closed and bandages are applied.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
The endoscopic brow lift is growing in popularity for some patients because it is minimally invasive but also done under general anesthesia.
The surgeon makes several small incisions in the hairline and uses an endoscope that is inserted in each incision to slightly raise the brow tissue. The advantage of this procedure is it’s less invasive so recovery time is shorter.
Temporal Brow Lift
This is also a minimally invasive brow lift, but it can be done with local anesthesia. It’s a smaller version of an endoscopic brow lift and also offers impressive results with a shorter recovery.
The type of brow lift you have depends on your facial features and aesthetic goals. Your surgeon will conduct a medical examination and decide which procedure will offer the best and most natural-looking results.
Here are some general guidelines for when different procedures may be needed:
- If your brow is moderately dropping with horizontal wrinkles, an endoscopic brow lift may be appropriate.
- If the brow is drooping severely with deep wrinkles, a coronal procedure may work the best.
- If your forehead is high, you may have a subcutaneous brow lift so the hairline isn’t raised higher.
Brow Lift Benefits
Getting a brow lift has many benefits.
Here are several:
- Get rid of that tired, angry appearance: A common complaint from people with a sagging brow is it makes them look tired, and also angry when they’re not. People who look like this all the time aren’t as approachable. But smoothing out the brow will make you look more relaxed and happy.
- Reduce facial lines: When the surgeon removes extra tissue and on the brows, there will be fewer lines and wrinkles in the upper face, and that makes you look younger. Frown lines also are gone and the skin is smoother.
- Makes the eyes bigger: A sagging brow can reduce the size of the eyes and make it hard to put on makeup. This procedure widens the eys so you look younger and more alert.
- Several procedure options: There are several types of brow lift and each can be customized to give you the best results based on your anatomy.
- Long-term results: Botox and dermal fillers can slightly raise the brow, but they’re limited and only last three to six months. A brow lift is a surgical procedure that makes structural changes to your brow, and the results last for 10 years or more.
Ideal Candidates For A Brow Lift
People who are older than 40 are often ideal candidates for a brow lift. After 40, the brow line tends to sag and fine lines and wrinkles appear on the forehead.
There are a few patients in their 30s or even 20s who may need a brow lift, too; heredity can cause this problem as well as age.
The best candidate has realistic expectations and is ready to follow pre- and post-surgery instructions to the letter. If you have any of the following issues with your face or brow, you could be a great candidate:
- Brows that droop
- Tired, older appearance in the upper face
- Heavy upper eyelids
- Horizontal lines on the forehead
- Furrows between your brows
- Sagging brows are obscuring the upper eye
Also, you should be in good health and able to undergo surgery. Plus, you should not smoke because it can interfere with the healing process.
Surgery Preparation For A Brow Lift
Your plastic surgeon will give you a detailed list of instructions in the days leading up to your procedure. Some general guidelines to prepare for a brow lift are:
- If you are a smoker, you need to quit at least a month before the procedure. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the chances of complications. You also shouldn’t smoke for a month after the brow lift.
- If you take any medications that thin the blood, you should stop taking them at least two weeks before the procedure.
- Remember to drink plenty of water in the weeks before your procedure as this improves the healing process.
- Ask a friend or family member to take you home from the surgical center because you will be drowsy from the anesthesia.
- Fill your pain medication prescriptions before the procedure.
- Have ice packs or cold compresses ready when you come home from surgery.
- Have your recovery area at home set up in advance. You should have plenty of bottled water, meals ready to eat, pillows to raise your head, and books and magazines to pass the time.
Brow Lift Risks And Complications
Major complications with brow lifts are rare when performed by a skilled surgeon. However, all surgeries have risks and your surgeon should discuss the potential complications with you before surgery:
- Allergy to anesthesia
- Blood or fluid accumulation under the skin that may need to be drained
- Excessive bleeding
- Incision infection that may need antibiotics for treatment
- Allergic reactions to stitches
- Damage to underlying tissue
- Poor results that may require additional surgery
Brow Lift Recovery
Your plastic surgeon will talk to you about how long you should wait before going back to work and doing regular activities.
Some tips to follow for the first few days after the procedure:
- Place cold packs around your eyes on and off for 48 hours to reduce the swelling.
- Sleep on your back with head raised for about one week.
- You may have some tightness and discomfort on the brow and top of the head. But the surgeon will give you pain medication to manage any pain you have.
- Expect swelling, bruising, and numbness for the first day, with swelling peaking about three days after the procedure.
- You may have bruising in the eyelids and lower eyelids as bleeding beneath the skin drains downward. But it will peak around day three and resolve over one or two weeks.
- Take a short walk every day to increase the blood circulation.
You shouldn’t engage in vigorous exercise or lift weights for at least a month. Most patients can return to work after a week, but if your job is physical, you may need two weeks off.
After one month, you should be able to return to your regular activities, including exercise. But don’t overdo it or it can delay your progress.
Expect to see the final results about six months after surgery. You should enjoy an improved brow appearance for many years. While gravity and aging will continue to have an effect, your brow should stay raised for a long time with only minor sagging.
There are several related procedures you can have at the same time as your brow lift. Having more than one procedure at a time is more cost-effective and combines all recovery into one period of time.
Plus, having several facial procedures at once will make a dramatic difference in how you look. Some options to talk over with your surgeon include:
Brow Lift FAQ
The most common questions that people have about a brow lift include:
When Is The Best Age To Have A Brow Lift?
The most common age is in the 40s. By this time, the brow tends to be affected by age and gravity.
However, a brow lift can be appropriate at many ages; it’s more about when your brow is low enough to need surgical intervention to raise it to a younger position.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
You will have some pain and swelling in the brow, but it is easily managed with prescription pain medication. It’s normal to have swelling in the upper face and brows for a few weeks.
After six months, all swelling will be gone and the final results will be visible.
Should I Get A Brow Lift Or Eyelid Lift?
A brow lift raises the brow to reduce folds and wrinkles over the eyes. An eyelid lift reduces folds directly over the eyes by cutting away extra skin and removing fat pockets.
A brow lift affect the forehead and tissue above the eyebrows, which an eyelid lift only changes the tissue directly over the eyes.
What If Sagging Skin Is Obscuring My Vision?
In this situation, you may need an eyelid lift instead of or along with a brow lift. Your surgeon will check your anatomy and let you know the best procedure.
What About Injectables For A Brow Lift?
Botox can be effective for certain patients to slightly raise the brow temporarily. But if you need a more substantial and permanent lift, a brow lift is the best choice.
Some surgeons use Botox injections to complement the brow lift and maintain it as long as possible.
What If A Brow Lift Makes Me Look Surprised?
If you choose a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience in brow lifts, they will know how to perform your brow lift so that it raises the brow without making you look surprised.
Will I Have Scars?
The incisions are usually hidden in the hairline, so scars are difficult to see. Many surgeons also offer scar gel that reduces the appearance of any scars you have.
Will A Brow Lift Be Better For Raising My Sagging Eyelids?
Neither procedure is superior to the other; they’re complementary. Many patients want to remove the whole fold above the eye with eyelid surgery.
But at least 50% of this fold is because the brow is too low. If the surgeon removes the entire fold, it would lower the brow even more.
That’s why doing a brow lift and eyelid lift together can work best by reducing lid folds.
Is A Brow Lift Worth It?
If you have sagging skin on the brows that causes wrinkles and lines, a brow lift could make you look younger and refreshed. Talk to your surgeon about a brow lift to find out if the benefits will outweigh the risks.
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