Brow Lift - FAQ
Is a brow lift right for me?
A brow lift is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Brow lift surgery is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You don't smoke
- You have a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
What happens during brow lift surgery?
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.
Step 2 - The incision
A brow lift may sometimes be performed using an endoscope (surgical video device) and special instruments placed through small incisions made within the hairline. This allows the tissue and muscle beneath the skin to be repositioned, altered or removed, correcting the source of visible creases and furrows in the forehead.
Correction of a low positioned or sagging brow may be made with or without the use of an endoscope through incisions at the templesand in the scalp. This technique may be done in conjunction with incisions hidden within the natural crease of the upper eyelids to eliminate frown lines between the brows, on or above the bridge of the nose.
An alternative brow lift technique is the coronal brow lift. The coronal brow lift can pinpoint specific regions of the brow to correct. This technique involves an incision from ear to ear, lifting the forehead and removing excess skin from the scalp. Recovery time is often longer than the endoscopic brow lift due to the size of the incision.
The incisions lines from a brow lift are well concealed within the hair or natural contours of the face unless they are placed at the hairline to shorten the forehead. Results appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal smoother forehead skin and a more youthful, restful experience.
Step 3 - Closing the incisions
Brow lift incisions typically are closed with:
- Removable or absorbable sutures
- Skin adhesives
- Surgical tape
- Special clips
Step 4 - See the results
- Permanent sutures
- Small surgical screws
- Absorbable fixation device placed inconspicuously at the temples
What should I expect during my consultation?
The success and safety of your brow lift procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Discuss the options available to you for facelift and facial rejuvenation
- Examine and measure different parts of your face
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of a facelift and any risks or potential complications
Are there any questions I should be prepared to ask?
It's very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your brow lift procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoprative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Will there be anything prior to surgery, I may be asked to do?
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-flammatory drugs or herbal supplements as they increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the night before and the morning of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your brow lift
- Post-operative and follow-up
Is there anything I should be aware of on the day of my surgery?
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Is there anything I should know about when I go home following surgery?
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure. Another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
What are the risks associated with brow lift surgery?
The decision to have a brow lift is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications.
The risks include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor wound healing
- Anesthesia risks
- Blood clots
- Correctable hair loss at the incisions
- Elevated hairline
- Facial nerve injury with weakness or paralysis
- Facial asymmetry
- Skin loss
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation or intense itching
- Changes in skin sensation
- Eye irritation or dryness
- Eyelid disorders that involve abnormal position of the upper eyelids (eyelid ptosis), loose eyelid skin, or abnormal laxness of the lower eyelid (ectropion) can coexists with sagging forehead and eyebrow structures; brow lift surgery will not correct these disorders; additional surgery may be required
- Fluid accumulation
- Pain, which may persist
- Skin contour irregularities
- Skin discoloration and swelling
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal
- Possibility of revisional surgery
When your procedure is completed, your forehead may be taped and your head may be loosely wrapped to minimize swelling and bruising. A thin tube may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.
Will I be given any specific instructions folowing my procedure?
Yes. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Are there any specific questions I should ask my surgeon regarding what I should expect during my individual recovery period?
Yes. You should ask the following:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
How long will it take to recover?
Initial wound healing may take 5 to 10 days, at which time any sutures or clips will be removed. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity at this time. Cosmetics can camouflage any bruising that remains. Healing will continue for several weeks as the swelling dissipates and incision lines refine and fade and it may take several months for your complete recovery.