A forehead lift or ‘brow lift’, restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired.
A brow lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the facial appearance. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a forehead lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids.
Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper eyelid surgery, may still be good candidates for a forehead lift.
Most brow lifts are performed using an endoscopic technique through very small incisions within the hairline. Occasionally, a more conventional surgical method may be used, in which the incision is hidden just behind the hairline.
Frequently Asked Questions
During your consultation, your goals for the surgery will be discussed and you will be asked about certain medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to develop large scars.
You should not take aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Brufen or Nurofen for two weeks before your surgery. These drugs increase the risk of post-operative bleeding and have an adverse effect on bruising. If you smoke, you will need to stop smoking for two weeks before surgery and a week afterwards. Smoking reduces the blood flow to the skin and can prevent healing. If your hair is very short, you may wish to let it grow out before surgery, so that it is long enough to hide the scars whilst they heal.You will need someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days at home.
Complications are rare and usually minor, however the possibility of complications must be considered. In rare cases, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured on one or both sides, resulting in a loss of ability to raise the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead. Additional surgery may be required to correct the problem. Formation of a broad scar is also a rare complication. This may be treated surgically by removing the wide scar tissue so a new, thinner scar may result. Also, in some patients, hair loss may occur along the scar edges. A small amount of hair loss in the region of the incisions is very occasionally seen although this will recover over a period of time. Loss of sensation may occur on the scalp or forehead. It is usually temporary, but may be permanent in some patients. Infection and bleeding are very rare, but are still possibilities.
No preoperative markings are needed for a brow lift. Before performing the surgery, the hair is parted along the incision lines and held in place with hair gel. Five short scalp incisions are made. An endoscope, which is a pencil-like camera device connected to a television monitor, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing a clear view of the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. Using another instrument inserted through a different incision, the forehead skin is lifted and the muscles and underlying tissues are removed or altered to produce a smoother appearance. The eyebrows may also be lifted and secured into their higher position by sutures beneath the skin’s surface. When the lift is complete, the scalp incisions will be closed with clips and the area will be washed. A bandage is not usually necessary.
Mild swelling and bruising is common following a browlift. In order to reduce this, you will be nursed sitting up after the surgery and also asked to sleep with 2 or 3 pillows for the first few days. During the first week you should avoid straining and bending down, as this tends to increase the swelling. The stitches or staples used to close the incisions are removed after one week.