What is a Brow Lift?
As we age, gravity pulls on our bodies, including on the brow. This sometimes results in sagging, which can make you look sad, tired, or even angry. If the brow droops low enough, it can also interfere with your peripheral vision. In this case, a brow lift is often paired with blepharoplasty (a surgical repair or lifting of the eyelids). You may also develop two vertical lines between your eyes as your brow droops, commonly called the “11s.”
Brow lift surgery elevates the brow, rejuvenating the face by eliminating sagging and lines, restoring your face’s neutral expression. The procedure works well for those at all stages, from early signs of aging to severe brow aging. A brow lift can also improve your vision if the sagging in your brow obstructs it.
About The Brow Lift Procedure
Your surgeon has several surgical techniques to choose from when performing a brow lift, and the one he selects will vary depending on the extent of the procedure and your wishes. The differences between each technique revolve primarily around incision placement.
Usually performed under general anesthesia, the four possible surgical techniques used during a brow lift include:
- Endoscopic: During an endoscopic brow lift, the surgeon makes small, 1-inch incisions at your hairline. He then uses a small camera to help him visualize and manipulate his surgical instruments and work within your brow, suturing tissue in place. This procedure is minimally invasive, allowing for faster healing and minimal scarring. This approach is subtle and best for patients with less advanced forehead aging.
- Direct or Mid-Forehead: The incisions for these techniques are made just above your eyebrows (direct) or within the furrows of your forehead (mid-forehead). This approach is rarer and used for patients with severe signs of aging. This procedure does work well for those with deep forehead creases and balding men for whom we can’t hide the incisions in the hairline.
- Coronal: Also known as an open brow lift, a coronal lift involves placing a single incision along the hairline from ear to ear. This approach is most often used for women with small foreheads, as this technique can lift the hairline.
- Temporal: A more minimal approach, the temporal brow lift involves incisions at either side of the forehead and focuses on the outer third of the brow on either side.
No matter where your surgeon places his incisions, the overall goals and techniques of a brow lift remain the same. The surgeon will smooth and tighten the skin, adjust the muscles for a more youthful appearance, and make any other necessary changes before closing the incisions and putting bandages in place.
Brow Lift Recovery
After brow lift surgery, your forehead will be swollen and bruised. You should plan to take at least 10 to 14 days off work for initial healing, but you may need less time if you’ve had an endoscopic procedure. While recovering, rest often and keep your head elevated as much as you can.
Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions. If your stitches need to be removed, he will schedule a time to remove them for you.
You will need to resume your normal activities gradually, postponing strenuous activities for several weeks after surgery.
How Long Does a Brow Lift Last?
Some patients find that their brow lift lasts them a lifetime. Others do start to notice some sagging again as time and gravity march on. Even these patients usually enjoy the results of their lift for at least 10 to 12 years, however, and find the procedure well worth the investment.