What is a brow lift?
A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a surgical procedure that can rejuvenate or refresh the look of the face. This surgery can correct furrowing of the forehead that can make you look angry or tired no matter what your real mood is. This is done by making incisions at the top of the face, usually behind the hairline, and loosening and redraping the skin and muscles of the forehead. Usually, some excess skin is removed and the muscles are lifted and sutured into place higher. There are several types of brow lift, including a full coronal lift, a temporal brow lift, and several endoscopic techniques.
At what age can a brow lift be performed?
A brow lift can be performed on patients in their late 20s and older. For many people, a brow lift is done to create a younger look, but some relatively young people have a brow lift done to correct furrowing of the brow that makes them look angry or tired all the time.
What does a typical consultation for a brow lift entail?
Your surgeon will go over your options and explain what can realistically be achieved. He or she will discuss what type of brow lift is best for you. You will discuss the risks and complications, anesthesia choices, what to expect postoperatively, and fees. This is the time to ask questions regarding your concerns and to determine if this surgeon is for you, so ask all your questions.
How is a brow lift performed?
After you are anesthetized or sedated, your surgeon will make one or more incisions on your forehead. These will usually be placed at or behind your hairline so that scars will be concealed. In a full coronal brow lift, the incision may run from one ear across the top of the skull to the other ear. The skin on the forehead will be loosened and redraped and any excess skin will be removed. The muscles of the forehead may be lifted and tightened and then sutured into new positions. After this is done, your incisions will be sutured and a pressure dressing will be applied. Most people go home a few hours after their lift is completed.
What should I expect postoperatively?
Expect to be swollen, tender, and probably bruised. This is normal, so do not be alarmed. If you are in pain, take your prescribed pain medications. Do not forget to take your antibiotics and take care of the incisions, if instructed to do so. You may be groggy from the anesthetic for a day or so, so rest when you get home. Most swelling and bruising will resolve over the next week, but generally will take a few weeks longer to completely resolve.
When will the stitches be removed and does this hurt?
The sutures and/or staples will be removed a week to 10 days after your surgery. Removal may hurt a little, but your surgeon can give you injections of a local anesthetic in case your stitches are difficult or painful to remove.
When will I be able to see the results?
The results of a brow lift are immediate, but you will be swollen and they may not be visible. The full results should be visible in a few months. Any numbness along the incisions should subside by 6 months postoperatively. However, some people have lasting numbness around the incisions. Remember that as each day goes by you will be that much closer to your final result, so be patient.
What are the risks of a brow lift?
No surgery is risk free. There is a chance of hematoma (a severe bruise or blood clot), numbness from nerve damage, and hyperpigmentation (permanent skin discoloration) caused by the bruising. There may be asymmetry and/or undesired results resulting from your brow lift. The incisions may become infected. It is possible that the incisions will show after they have healed. There can be necrosis of the tissues at the incision lines, resulting in additional tissue removal. If your skin is pulled too tightly, you may end up with a very surprised look for a while.
Are the results permanent?
Semipermanent is a better way to describe the results. We all continue to age and our brows will continue to droop; its a fact of life. In general, results of the endoscopic technique may not last nearly as long as the traditional and coronal lifts, but they are less invasive.
Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
3023 Hamaker Court
Fairfax, VA 22031
Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
8650 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20110
George Washington University Hospital
2150 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC, DC 20037