Brow Lift Surgery Overview

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What Is a Brow Lift?

A brow lift—sometimes called a forehead lift—is a procedure designed to raise the eyebrows, smooth the forehead and reduce signs of aging. A brow lift is similar to a face lift and can improve the overall appearance of the face. The result of a brow lift is a more aesthetically pleasing, refreshed appearance.

A brow lift can also remove furrows in your forehead or between your brows that may make you look angry or worried no matter what your real mood is. You could look happier and more relaxed after the surgery, and people around you will respond to that.

A brow lift can fix one of the earliest signs of aging: drooping of the eyebrows. Your eyebrows start to slowly sag downwards as the years pass. Loose skin and the loss of fat around the brow, forehead and temples contribute to this. By fixing these problems, a brow lift procedure can rejuvenate your appearance. 

Anatomy of the Face
There are several muscles in your forehead and upper face. Although some brow lifts only rearrange or remove some skin, others rearrange or remove muscle tissue. The exact surgery you will have depends on the type of procedure being done, but most brow lifts include removing some tissue beneath the skin of the forehead and either removing or manipulating the muscles of the forehead to create the desired appearance. In most cases, this includes pulling the forehead muscles and skin upward, which raises the eyebrows to create a more youthful appearance. The muscles that can be affected in a brow lift include:

  • Frontalis: the major muscle of the forehead. This muscle runs straight down from the scalp to the eyebrows and is responsible for moving the eyebrows. The frontalis muscle is part of the complex of muscles called the occipitofrontalis.
  • Corrugator: a small muscle just below the occipitofrontalis that moves the inner corner of the eyebrow.
  • Procerus: a small muscle on either side of the nose that runs from the nasal bone and cartilage in the side of the nose and runs up to the forehead between the eyebrows.

Are You a Candidate for a Brow Lift?

You should be in good overall health and free of any active diseases or other medical conditions. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease could make it difficult for you to endure the brow lift surgery and recover well. Make sure your surgeon knows if you have any allergies and what medications (including vitamin supplements and herbal products) you take regularly.

Healing after any surgery can be difficult and tedious. You will need patience and mental strength. Some people become depressed after surgery. Because of this, it is important to ensure that this temporary depression does not worsen a pre-existing depression or mental illness.

You should discuss with your surgeon how you want to look after your brow lift surgery. You need to know if your goals are realistic and can be attained through surgery. Brow lift surgery can make you look younger and more refreshed. It cannot restore your youth. You and your surgeon can examine brow lift before and after photos to be sure you both are in agreement about the end result and your desired appearance.

In most cases, medical insurance will not cover the costs associated with a brow lift procedure. You will be responsible for these costs. However, it is possible to find affordable brow lift surgery with a board-certified surgeon, and financing can be arranged.

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How Is a Brow Lift Performed?

Before undergoing a brow lift, you should have a firm understanding of how the procedure you and your surgeon have chosen is performed. The length of time required to complete a brow lift depends on the technique used, but it usually takes 1 to 2 hours. Other procedures, such as a face lift or blepharoplasty, may be performed in conjunction with a brow lift, but this will add to the total length of the surgery.

There are several phases involved in the process of brow lift surgery:

Preparation: As part of being "prepped" for surgery, the surgeon will draw marks on you to indicate where he or she will make the incisions. The location, length and direction of these incision lines will be dictated by the technique being used. You will also be scrubbed with an antimicrobial agent to minimize the possibility of infection. Your hair will be secured so that it does not get in your surgeon''s way during the procedure. Before beginning the procedure, you will be hooked up to monitors that allow the surgical team to keep track of your heart rate and other vital signs during surgery. An intravenous (IV) line will be started

Anesthesia: You should discuss the choice of anesthesia with your surgeon before your surgery. Most surgeons use a local anesthetic to numb the area and a sedative to relax the patient during a brow lift. You will be very drowsy, but usually not asleep. However, some surgeons prefer to have patients under general anesthesia so they are not awake during the surgery. Some patients prefer to sleep through the procedure and opt for a general anesthetic. The choice of anesthesia may also depend on whether additional cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift, are being performed.

Brow Lift Surgery: During the procedure, the surgeon will carefully follow the pre-marked lines made during the preparation phase. The surgeon then removes any excess skin and closes the incision. After the incisions are closed, a dressing is then applied to protect the wounds, keep the tissue securely in place, and reduce swelling.

Recovery: Once surgery is over, you will wake up and be moved to a recovery room. During this phase you may experience some pain, nausea or uncontrollable shivering. Some people experience emotional anguish at this time. The staff can give you pain relievers, antinausea medications, warm blankets, and other comforts.

If you are going home the same day as your surgery, you will need a friend or family member to drive you.

Read more about brow lift procedures and techniques.

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