What is a brow lift or forehead lift? A brow lift or forehead lift is a procedure that raises or improves the shape of the eyebrows, corrects forehead wrinkles, and can reduce sagging skin of the upper eyelids. Individuals seeking a more long-term solution to forehead rejuvenation than Botox® may be especially interested in the benefits of a brow lift. There are several forms of a brow lift to choose from, each with its own benefits:
Endoscopic brow lift: This is a minimally invasive brow lift that uses scopes and specialized equipment to perform the brow lift through shorter incisions than usual. The incisions are all hidden in the hair of the scalp. The obvious advantage of this technique is that incisions are shorter. It is a good approach for treating wrinkles of the forehead and down to the bridge of the nose and can modestly raise eyebrow position. This procedure can be performed as a standard endoscopic brow lift or an endoscope-assisted lateral brow lift that more effectively raises the eyebrows.
Transpalpebral brow lift with corrugator resection: This brow lift is performed through an upper-eyelid incision in conjunction with an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty. These incisions are virtually invisible when the eyes are open. The eyebrows are tacked to connective tissue of the forehead to secure them in a higher and more arched position. Removing the corrugator supercilii muscles that cause these wrinkles reduces frown lines traveling from the upper-eye sockets to the bridge of the nose.
Open (coronal) brow lift: This is the traditional approach to the brow lift. An incision is typically made across the front of the scalp, and is hidden by the hair. This approach remains the most reliable method for raising and balancing eyebrow position and removing forehead wrinkles.
Click here to view a video on browlifting.
Upper-lid blepharoplasty (upper-eyelid lift). Brow lifts can be performed to enhance the effects of an upper-eyelid lift or blepharoplasty. Some extra upper-eyelid skin can be redraped by repositioning the eyebrows while the remainder can be addressed with an upper-eyelid blepharoplasty.
Lower-lid blepharoplasty (lower-eyelid lift). The upper third of the face is composed of the forehead and the upper and lower eyelids. Tightening extra skin, removing fat bulges and smoothening the contour between the lower eyelid and the cheek with a lower-lid blepharoplasty – also known as a lower-eyelid lift – can rejuvenate the lower eyelids.
Fractionated laser resurfacing. Fractionated laser resurfacing is used to smoothen uneven skin pigmentation and reduce fine wrinkling of the forehead. This procedure can be safely performed at the time of surgery or separately and is an excellent complement to a surgical brow lift.
Anesthesia: Usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 1 to 2 hours
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after 7 to 10 days, but should avoid vigorous activities for 2-3 weeks. Visible bruising or swelling should clear up within 1 to 2 weeks. To learn how to prepare for a brow lift and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for brow lift.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, swelling, a well-hidden scar, and possibly some scalp and forehead numbness. This operation may intentionally reduce the activity of muscles that contribute to frowning so these muscles are likely to be weak after surgery. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of brow-lift (forehead-lift) surgery.
Before-and-after photos of blepharoplasties (eyelid lifts) and brow lifts (forehead lifts): Click here
To schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.