As the combined forces of gravity, sun exposure, and repetitive facial expressions take their toll on the skin, the upper face can start exhibiting more and more signs of aging. The brow may begin to droop, while wrinkles often deepen around the eyes and across the forehead. For some patients, an expression of perpetual stress, exhaustion, or anger may permeate their features. These developments can make individuals look much older than they feel, but the aesthetic changes caused by aging don’t have to be permanent.
Fortunately, a brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, can rejuvenate this area of the face and provide a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Dr. Ali Sepehr is a highly experienced facial plastic surgeon who can work with you to determine whether a brow lift may be the best solution to achieve your goals.
A brow lift is designed to tighten lax skin on the forehead as well as elevate descended eyebrows to their natural positioning. This is done with the goal of restoring a youthful brow appearance, which is typically characterized by eyebrows that rest just above the orbital rim. By addressing the excess skin that tends to crowd the eyebrows—often creating an expression of stress or fatigue—a brow lift can also smooth frown lines and horizontal creases on the forehead for significant rejuvenation of the upper face. As a brow lift is intended to correct key indicators of age in this region, patients generally appear more refreshed and lively after the procedure and enjoy a younger-looking aesthetic.
The anatomic changes that occur in the upper face over time are the result of reduced skin elasticity, repeated muscle contraction, and gravity. These three factors lead to the most prominent signs of aging in the upper face: horizontal forehead wrinkles, vertical wrinkles between the brows, and descended eyebrows. Drooping brows can also accentuate loose upper eyelid skin by causing the skin to fold in on itself even more—a condition called “hooding.” Therefore, the appearance of the upper eyelids is very much dependent on the positioning of the eyebrows.
With all this in mind, patients who have a drooping brow often experience skin laxity in their eyelid contours as well. These characteristics usually exacerbate an aged or fatigued appearance, which can only be reversed for the long term by surgically addressing the skin, fat, and muscular tissue in this region of the face.
Brow lift surgery can improve several indicators of age that may be causing you to look angry, stressed or tired, including:
Although the procedure can be very effective in rejuvenating the region from the eyebrows to the hairline, a brow lift cannot address excess skin around the eyes or the appearance of puffy eyelids. If these are concerns you’re interested in correcting, a joint procedure consisting of a brow lift plus eyelid surgery is a relatively common treatment plan since the brow and eyes tend to age together.
Descended eyebrows may be improved by the brow lift or forehead lift operation, which is intended to lift the skin of the brow and prevent it from crowding and bunching up the upper eyelids. Candidates for this procedure often complain of looking tired or fatigued because of saggy brows, or even looking angry because of frown lines between the eyebrows which give off the perception of scowling. This procedure is designed to elevate the brows and reduce a heavy brow appearance. This can help open the eyes, making them look wider, brighter, and more rested. Furthermore, a surgical brow lift can remove the wrinkles between the eyebrows, creating a happier look. It can also smooth forehead wrinkles and give the entire upper third of the face a more youthful and elegant appearance. You may be a candidate for brow lift surgery if:
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Before the procedure you will meet the operating room nurse and the anesthesiologist, who will both ask you questions to make sure the operation proceeds as safely as possible. The procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours. When you wake up, you will have a soft head wrap dressing and a drain with a bulb. After the procedure, you will be monitored to make sure you have no pain or nausea. The nurse will also teach you how to care for the drain. You can expect to be at the surgery center for about half of the day. A variety of techniques are available and a consultation is necessary to determine which is the most appropriate. As with any procedure, your thorough understanding of the preoperative and postoperative instructions is essential to a successful outcome.
The endoscopic technique often reduces the amount of downtime, scarring, and discomfort commonly associated with a traditional brow lift. Dr. Sepehr performs an endoscopic brow lift by placing three to five small incisions that allow him to lift and redrape the skin of the forehead while removing excess tissue that may be causing deep wrinkles along the brow. The forehead will then be gently repositioned to restore drooping eyebrows to their proper location. Special surgical instruments designed to limit tissue disruption are used during the endoscopic procedure, often reducing the amount of bruising experienced during the recovery period. Thanks to Dr. Sepehr’s strategic incision placement, the visibility of post-surgical scars is also minimized after the incisions fully heal.
For patients who may be bothered by a large or prominent forehead, Dr. Sepehr often favors the trichophytic brow lift technique. Performed through a wavy incision just behind the hairline, a trichophytic brow lift can shorten the forehead so it looks more proportional to surrounding facial features. This approach is the only technique that can lift drooping brows while reducing the length of the forehead and lowering the hairline. Hair growth can naturally camouflage the incision, allowing inconspicuous scarring after the procedure.
The other brow lift techniques listed below are distinguished by the extent of lifting necessary and how much of the brow area is being addressed. Dr. Sepeher can discuss the pros and cons of each procedure with you, and then advise you on the best approach to achieve your goals.
Patients may experience discomfort in the form of a pressure headache. This can be well controlled with pain medication. After a brow lift, some swelling and bruising is expected. Please keep your head elevated above the level of your heart while sleeping to minimize the swelling that develops and to help expedite its disappearance. It is natural for the swelling to travel down the face while it is resolving. The amount of bruising and swelling varies, but typically most patients are sociable within 7-14 days.
Make-up can be worn immediately. If other procedures are performed at the same time as the brow lift, then avoid makeup over incisions for 7 to 10 days. Varying degrees of forehead numbness can occur. This can last a few weeks to a few months. Itching is expected and can be a sign of improvement. You can resume your cardiovascular or aerobic exercise after 2 weeks. Please avoid contact sports for 6 weeks.
As with all types of surgery, there are potential risks associated with brow lifts. Dr. Sepehr will speak with you about all of the risks and benefits of the procedure at your initial consultation, and he will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Dr. Sepehr frequently combines other procedures including facelift or eyelid surgery with a brow lift.
A brow lift from Dr. Sepehr can typically last five to ten years, but results will vary depending on how you care for your skin, the kind of lifestyle you lead, and your unique genetic factors. To help extend the length of results, there are a variety of treatments, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, that can achieve non-surgical enhancement and may be beneficial.
There is the potential for residual scarring after a brow lift, as is typical with most surgical procedures. However, with Dr. Sepehr’s extensive training and experience, he can often hide these incisions along your hairline. This can make the final results of a brow lift look as natural as possible.
The cost of a brow lift is determined by the degree to which the brow has descended and the surgical technique used during your procedure. Other factors, such as geographic location and the experience of a plastic surgeon, can also impact the cost of a brow lift. Although not our practice, some places quote their costs excluding surgery center prices and anesthesia fees, so please be sure to ask. The details of your treatment plan will determine the true nature of your brow lift expenses and we will provide a personalized quote after Dr. Sepehr examines your needs in a consultation.
Dr. Sepehr offers a number of payment options to make the cost of a brow lift as affordable as possible. Plastic surgery financing through trusted institutions like CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending can allow qualified applicants to pay for their treatment over a period of time, rather than all at once. After gaining approval through the easy application process, patients can receive the enhancement they desire while accommodating any budgetary concerns by choosing from a multitude of low- to no-interest payment plans. If you have any questions about our accepted modes of payment, please contact our practice today.
A brow lift comes with a risk of bleeding, poor wound healing, unfavorable scarring, and negative reactions to the anesthesia, which are all potential complications that could occur with any surgical procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, other risks unique to brow lift surgery include:
Safety is our highest priority at OC Facial Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Sepehr will make sure you understand all of the risks and limitations of the procedure before you decide whether to continue pursuing a brow lift. As long as you entrust your care to a board-certified plastic surgeon, brow lift surgery is considered a very safe and straightforward procedure with a minimal risk of complications. That said, selecting a facial plastic surgeon in particular can ensure you’re receiving the highest standard of care from a doctor who specializes exclusively in facial procedures.
If you prefer to avoid surgery, treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic can be an effective way to rejuvenate the brow using minimally invasive techniques. As a neuromodulator, BOTOX® Cosmetic can temporarily inhibit the muscle contractions that lead to dynamic wrinkles, such as frown lines, crow’s feet, and pronounced forehead creases. In turn, these expression lines can be smoothed, providing a more youthful and refreshed look for months at a time. Although injections with BOTOX® Cosmetic are not a method of permanent rejuvenation, nor can this non-surgical treatment mirror the quality of results yielded by a brow lift, BOTOX® Cosmetic can be an exceptional means of enhancement for individuals who want to achieve a noticeable outcome quickly, or who do not wish to undergo an operation.
If your goals are to create a more youthful appearance for the entirety of the upper face, many of our patients have had positive results after combining both a brow lift with an eyelid surgery. The facial muscles in both of these areas work together to form expressions, and therefore typically wear at the same rate. An eyelid lift works to lessen a tired-looking appearance and a brow lift can improve skin laxity and creases along the upper facial skin and forehead. During your initial consultation, Dr. Sepehr can answer any questions you may have about combining eyelid surgery and brow lift. Cosmetic injectables and other rejuvenation procedures can also be ideal complements to brow lift surgery for patients who have aesthetic concerns in additional facial areas.
Please contact OC Facial Plastic Surgery to schedule a brow lift consultation at our practice.