Cosmetic Surgery Facial Brow Lift

A brow lift is a popular cosmetic procedure that is often done in conjunction with other types of plastic surgery. As a top choice for facial rejuvenation, it can help smooth out deep lines in the forehead due to aging.

The forehead is one of the first areas of the face to show the signs of aging, along with the eyelids and skin at the neck. As collagen breaks down, the brows can become droopy and appear to sag into an ever-present frown line.

Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift is helpful in permanently raising the brows and removing sagging. The procedure can provide a more youthful appearance by reducing or erasing the furrows that add years to a face.

The Best Candidates for a Brow Lift

Brow lift surgery, along with other facial rejuvenation therapies, is equally effective on men and women, usually those between the ages of 40 and 70.

Individuals who are in good health and have a positive mental attitude are good candidates for this type of cosmetic repair. A realistic understanding of what to expect after healing is also critical to a successful outcome. Results occur gradually and some individuals require up to a year to fully enjoy the expected appearance.

A forehead lift is beneficial for raising sagging eyebrows and removing the vertical lines between the brows. It also removes some droopiness in the outer eyelid corners. Individuals can generally expect a refreshed facial look.

It is very common to undergo companion surgeries and applications at the same time as a brow lift. These include:

  • chemical peel or other skin resurfacing
  • eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
  • full facelift (rhytidectomy)
  • neck surgery (platysmaplasty/cervicoplasty)
  • nose surgery (rhinoplasty).

Basics of Eyebrow Lift Procedures

Brow lift surgery is done by conventional or endoscopic methods. In the traditional, or conventional, approach, an ear-to-ear incision is made just behind the hairline. The surgeon pulls skin away from the skull to remove excess fat and to trim and tighten muscle tissue and then cuts away excess skin, if necessary.

The newer endoscopic approach, which became popular in 1995, employs several smaller incision points and is a less-invasive procedure. The actual surgical time is longer, as the surgeon works with a small camera at the tip of an endoscope to mark and track progress as he works through the openings.

Drawbacks to this procedure include the potential for further drooping and wrinkling. The surgeon draws excess skin upward into the hairline area but does not remove it. Screws hold the skin in place during the healing process. The type of procedure required is dependent on several factors, including:

  • age
  • amount of sagging
  • condition and flexibility of skin
  • extent of skin removal.

Brow lifts are performed in outpatient clinics, hospitals or in surgeons’ offices. They may last from 30 minutes to as long as two hours. Surgeons use general anesthesia, local anesthesia with a sedative or twilight sleep, which uses a combination of drugs, including pain killers.

Post-Brow Lift Surgical Experience

Swelling and bruising are main inconveniences of a brow lift. These can last up to 10 days and may involve the entire upper and mid-portions of the face. Additionally, prolonged numbness is common with the conventional lift. This can extend along the entire incision area for as long as six months.

The medical team provides instructions on post-surgical care. Keeping the head elevated, even during sleep, reduces swelling. Some physicians recommend a recliner for sleeping. Cold compresses also help minimize discomfort.

Exertion can lead to a rise in blood pressure, which can cause bleeding at the surgical site.

Odd sensations, such as burning or fleeting pain in the forehead area, are common. They might last for a few weeks but will gradually subside. If the eyebrows appear too high at first, this, too, will diminish over time.

Brow Lift Risks

As with all surgeries, the potential for undesirable long-term effects exist, although they are rare. These include:

  • excess scar tissue formation
  • immobility in the forehead and eyebrow area
  • irregular appearance of brows
  • lack of hair growth at the incision point in a conventional brow lift surgery
  • nerve damage leading to localized paralysis
  • numbness along the line of incision
  • overcorrection, which leads to higher than desired eyebrows
  • permanent loss of hair in the region where the surgery occurred.

Brow Lift Costs

A brow lift can cost up to $8,000, but a surgeon with less experience will possibly charge much less. An average mid-range fee is usually about $3,000.

Insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures, but patients can discuss payment plans with the doctor, if necessary.

Resources

AAFPRS.org (2001-2007). Forehead Lift Surgery. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Web site: http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/forehead_lifts.html.

Docshop.com (2006). Brow Lift Surgery. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the Einstein Medical Web site: http://www.docshop.com/education/cosmetic/face/brow-lift/surgery/.

Yourplasticsurgeryguide.com (2005-2007). Brow Lift (Forehead Lift). Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the Ceatus Media Group LLC Web Site: http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/facial-rejuvenation/forehead-lift.htm.