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With age, relaxation of the forehead muscles and skin can cause the eyebrows to sit lower on the face. This often results in drooping of the outer part of the brow or flattening of the brows so that the natural arch is no longer present. Repetitive contraction of the forehead muscles over time can lead to a wrinkled or furrowed appearance. For this condition, a brow lift (also called a forehead lift) can restore the brows to their higher, more youthful position and even reshape them so that they have a natural arch once again. At the same time, excess skin can be removed in order to diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
If the brows have become asymmetrical, this can be corrected as well so that they are even and well-matched. Deep forehead lines (the “11” lines between the brows) can also be smoothed during a brow lift.
While a brow lift might help with mild drooping of the upper eyelids, most patients need an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) to correct that issue. Many patients opt to get a brow lift and eyelid lift at the same time to address the entire upper portion of the face. Some patients have a face lift/neck lift along with a brow lift for a full face rejuvenation. If these surgeries are done simultaneously, an overnight hospital stay is usually required.
Dr. Beale will examine you during your consultation and ask you a number of questions about what you dislike about the look of your eyebrows and forehead. He will then discuss the different options with you in detail so that you know what to expect from your surgery. He approaches every patient as an individual and creates a surgical plan that is customized to your needs, goals, and anatomy.
The Brow Lift Procedure
During a brow lift, the skin of the forehead is raised and tightened through incisions carefully hidden behind or along the hairline. Additionally, the muscles that cause frown lines between the eyebrows, called “corrugator muscles,” are removed, and the upper forehead muscle is weakened to improve the appearance of horizontal forehead creases.
The removal and weakening of these muscles will not affect your ability to move your eyebrows or forehead, however. You will still be able to make natural facial expressions, and the result will be natural-looking and not too tight.
A brow lift can often be performed endoscopically, which means that only a few small incisions hidden behind the hairline are required. Then, a tiny camera is inserted, and the surgery is performed with special surgical instruments and the aid of the camera to see inside. In those cases where Dr. Beale requires more visibility than an endoscopic technique allows, larger incisions are necessary, but they will still be hidden by your hair or just above the eyebrows.
A brow lift usually takes about one hour and is done with the patient under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure, however, so you can go home a few hours after the surgery, provided someone drives you home.
Recovery from a Brow Lift
Incisions within the hairline are closed with staples that are removed within seven to ten days. Drains may be placed underneath the scalp during brow surgery to remove excess fluid and are generally removed the day after surgery.
After a brow lift, a head wrap may be used for comfort and to reduce swelling. You can further reduce swelling by sleeping on your back with your head elevated for the first week or two.
Some swelling, bruising, tightness, and discomfort are to be expected for a couple of weeks. We will give you pain medication to make your recovery easier.
You should be able to return to work within seven to ten days. Avoid makeup for the first week, and avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks.
You will see Dr. Beale for follow-up examinations to make sure you are healing well and that you are happy with your results. While the aging process cannot be stopped, the results of your brow lift should last for many years.
Call us for an appointment to discuss how a brow lift can help your forehead and eyebrows look younger and well-rested.