A forehead lift, also called a brow lift, works to correct the effects of gravity by tightening the tissues of the forehead. The incision for a brow lift goes across the top of your scalp beginning above your ears. It may be placed behind or at the hairline, depending upon your particular anatomy. Through the created incision, the muscle that causes wrinkling and frown lines is modified or even removed, having an effect similar to that of a continual Botox injection in the frown muscle area, or removed. In addition, excess skin is removed, restoring the eyebrows to a natural, more youthful position.
When to Consider a Forehead Lift
- If the brow line is deflated or droops, resulting in a tired look to the face.
- If you notice sagging of your eyebrows and hooding of your upper eyelids.
- If you are looking to soften the deep creases across your forehead and reduce frown lines and vertical lines between your eyebrows.
Dr. Kay’s Approach
We definitely avoid being aggressive with this procedure to avoid the “surprised” or “deer in the headlights” look.
- By lifting the brows to a more elevated and natural-looking position you will have a more relaxed and refreshed appearance.
- The recovery from a brow lift is typically 10 days.
- After surgery, you will have temporary swelling and bruising of your eyelids and cheek areas.
- You may experience temporary numbness and itchiness of your scalp.
For less severe symptoms, non-surgical options such as Botox and/or dermal fillers can offer some correction with relatively little downtime as compared to surgery. Patients considering a brow lift frequently explore alternative procedures such as a face lift and/or an upper blepharoplasty. Ultimately, a highly experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is your best resource for determining which procedure is the best fit for your underlying structure, lifestyle, and individual goals.
I have heard of the procedure called an 'endoscopic brow lift.' Do you perform this procedure?
The endoscopic brow lift is a minimally invasive technique that requires several very small incisions in the scalp. The brow lift is then performed via an endoscope inserted through these tiny incisions. It is Dr. Kay’s experience that my patients are generally not happy with the results of an endoscopic brow lift because less correction can be achieved with this method and the final result is not as predictable. It also costs much more because of the video equipment required and because the procedure is done under general anesthetic.
How will I know if I would benefit more from a brow lift and/or an upper lid blepharoplasty?
During your consultation for heaviness of the upper eyelid area, Dr. Kay carefully assesses both your brow and your upper eyelids to identify the source of the problem. A common misjudgment is performing an upper blepharoplasty (removal of eyelid skin) in someone with a low brow, as it gives minimal to no improvement.
Will I lose hair in front of the scar?
This has been reported in the plastic surgery journals, but in decades of practice I have not witnessed it happen. Occasionally the hair can become thinner in front of the scar, which is usually 1 ½ to 2 inches behind the front hairline. This usually reverses itself within 3 to 6 months.
Do you shave the hair in the area before surgery?
Yes, we shave approximately 1/8 of an inch to be able to keep the incision parallel to the hair roots to preserve them. This shaved strip is removed by the surgery so that when the incision is closed the edges have full length, normal hair matching up against full length, normal hair.