Developed in the 1990s, the endoscopic lift is now a tried and true minimally invasive surgical option that works very well and is quite safe.
What is an Endoscopic Brow Lift?
An endoscopic brow lift is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a plastic surgeon to access your forehead and brows without the trauma of a traditional brow lift or the limitations of some other procedures. A traditional brow lift, also known as a coronal brow lift, involves making a large incision in the hairline that extends across the entire forehead from ear to ear. It is effective but much more invasive than newer techniques. A hairline brow lift is similar but more likely to leave visible scars.
A temporal brow lift requires only small incisions above the temples but can correct just the outer third of the brows and forehead. A browpexy also requires only small incisions on either end of the brows or inside the upper eyelid for maximum discretion. The procedure lifts the brows only, however, and does not address any issues with the forehead. Direct brow lifts are performed by making an incision just above the eyebrows. This procedure often leaves a visible scar, however, and allows for only a limited lift.
An endoscopic procedure avoids the visible scarring of certain other options but still allows for a full lift, avoiding the limitations of other surgeries that may leave behind minimal scarring but also limited results.
Who is the Right Candidate for an Endoscopic Brow Lift?
You’re a good candidate for an endoscopic brow lift even if you have severe sagging and forehead wrinkles. It’s best if your brows are fairly symmetrical, however. An endoscopic procedure can only correct height differences of about 3 to 4 mm between brows.
Because the surgery is performed under general anesthesia, it’s also best if you are in generally good health before your procedure. If you have a chronic health condition, it must be well-managed before surgery. Cigarettes are known to delay healing and increase the risk of complications, so if you smoke your surgeon will ask you to quit before your procedure and refrain while you recover.
How is an Endoscopic Brow Lift Surgery Performed?
An endoscopic procedure starts with getting you comfortable, which in this case means putting you to sleep using general anesthesia. Then your surgeon will set to work performing the following steps:
- Making about 5 small, ¾ inch incisions in your hairline where they will be hidden
- Placing an endoscope inside an incision to illuminate and visualize the workspace
- Using other surgical tools as needed and passing them through a different incision, lifting the skin away from the underlying tissue
- Lifting and tightening the brow as necessary to smooth the forehead and lift the brows
- Suturing the brow into its new position
- Removing the surgical tools and closing the incisions
- Waking you from anesthesia and monitoring your recovery as you wake up
How Painful is an Endoscopic Brow Lift?
The pain from an endoscopic brow lift is minimal but patients do sometimes report feeling tension-like headaches for the first day or two after surgery. This is easily managed with prescription pain medication if necessary. If your doctor does prescribe pain medication, be sure to take it as directed. It’s better to stay ahead of pain than to skip a few pills and then try to alleviate pain you could have avoided.
How Long is Recovery from an Endoscopic Brow Lift?
Recovering from an endoscopic brow lift takes about two weeks. You will be able and encouraged to do a bit of walking the day of your surgery and will have very few if any restrictions to your normal daily routine. It’s a good idea to take at least a few days off work, however, so you give your body adequate time to rest and recover. Avoid vigorous activity for two weeks. This includes working if you have a physically demanding job.
You will need to sleep with your head elevated for one week after surgery. Expect some bruising and swelling, as well. You can reduce swelling by periodically applying cold compresses or ice packs around your eyes. Upon occasion patients notice thinning hair or hair loss at their incision sites. This is temporary and not generally cause for alarm.
If you dye your hair, you may resume doing so 1 month after your surgery.
How Long Do Results from an Endoscopic Brow Lift Last?
The results of an endoscopic brow lift last an average of 10 to 12 years. Your surgeon can’t stop the aging process or turn off gravity, however, so it is possible that your brows could sag again in the future. You can help prolong your results by wearing sunscreen, eating healthily, and not smoking.
Does an Endoscopic Brow Lift Raise the Hairline?
An endoscopic brow lift can lift your hairline depending on the lift method used. If this is a concern for you, your surgeon may be able to utilize techniques that avoid this outcome. If not, be aware that in most cases the hairline is raised only 1 to 2 mm (about 0.8 inches) and the elevation is not noticeable. In the worst cases, the lift is still only 4 to 5 mm (0.2 inches).
If this concerns you, speak to your surgical coordinator and surgeon about your unease. They can tell you what to expect based on your unique needs and skin traits.