Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift is a surgical procedure performed to reduce signs of aging in the forehead area. It aims to remove or minimize deep horizontal creases across the forehead and bridge of the nose, and the frown lines between the eyebrows. It also lifts the eyebrows, making the eyes look more open. A full brow lift helps in lifting frontally and laterally as opposed to a temporal lift which is a lateral (side) brow lift only, often considered to be a mini brow lift. A temporal lift is best suited for patients who are looking to enhance and lift the tail end of their eyebrows and the temple area or for patients that do not have the downtime available associated with a full brow lift. Dr. Sunder guides patients to what is best suited based on their individualized needs.
There are multiple techniques used for performing brow lifts. Dr. Sunder prefers to minimize downtime and incisions as much as possible and therefore opts for an endoscopic approach. This less invasive technique uses two small incisions that are made 1 inch away from the hairline into the scalp area, implants called Endotine to maximize fixation that dissolve over a period of time. These shorter incisions mean a shorter recovery time and less scarring than those from a traditional brow lift with a coronal incision approach which is an incision that is made all the way across the scalp behind the hairline as well. As for the temporal lift, two small incisions are made laterally near the temple area. This approach is often combined with a mini lift and/or upper eyelid lift. Which technique is chosen depends on the thickness, texture and elasticity of the skin, the bone structure of the face, the overall appearance of eyebrows and eyelids, and the position of the eyebrows.
The Brow-Lift Procedure
Brow-lift (full) surgery is an out-patient procedure and usually takes about two hours to perform under general anesthesia. Depending on the surgical technique used, one long incision or a series of small incisions are made. Tissue and muscle underneath the skin are moved or repositioned as necessary. Temporal lift can be performed in-office under local anesthetic only, it typically takes less than two hours to complete.
Considerations in Men
One of the biggest concerns, in any surgery, but especially in a male brow lift procedure, is the appearance and location of the scar. Many surgeons perform forehead lifts in the traditional manner via a coronal incision, which runs the length from one end of the forehead to the other end. The traditional techniques either require a portion of hair-bearing skin be removed and cause the hairline to appear higher after surgery.Dr. Sunder performs her male brow lift using a minimally invasive endoscopic technique with much smaller incisions camouflaged well inside the hairline. This approach works well for male patients, since Dr.Sunder understands that a man’s hairline may recede as he ages. In addition, when making the incision, Dr.Sunder utilizes specific techniques that limit hair loss around the incision.
Unlike women who have prominently arched brows, a distinctively masculine brow is only slightly arched or relatively flat. When performing a forehead lift for men, this is an important consideration to keep in mind. Maintaining the relatively horizontal shape of the male brow, as well as its position on the brow bone, are important factors to giving a man natural looking, yet rejuvenated, results. Another consideration in a male forehead lift surgery is to not leave a man with an overly smooth and shiny forehead. It is natural for a man to have some texture to the forehead. Dr.Sunder keeps these considerations in mind, along with any individual preferences or concerns each patient may have, in order to achieve a natural and fitting result for each patient’s face, personality and lifestyle.
Recovery from a Brow Lift
A patient typically returns home on the day of the brow-lift surgery, although an overnight stay may be necessary for some patients that are combing other procedures with the brow lift. Swelling may be pronounced for the first few days after surgery along with what we call the “surprised look”, although most swelling goes away within 2 weeks. For a brow lift, whether full or mini, to be to successful, surgeons must set the brows a little higher than desired so that when it fully heals, it settles where desired. If the brows are not overly pulled, once healed, it will go back to where it was at baseline leaving the patient disappointed. It can take up to 6 months for swelling to fully subside and scars to fade.
Results of a Brow Lift
Depending on the patient’s pre-surgical appearance and goals, a brow lift’s results, which can be seen immediately, can be either subtle or dramatic. Eyes will appear more “open,” and creases across the forehead, bridge of the nose, and between the eyes will be much less prominent.
Risks associated with a Brow Lift
Prior to scheduling surgery, the patient and surgeon should fully discuss the risks associated with a brow lift. In addition to those associated with any type of surgery, a brow lift’s risks include the following:
- Hair loss around the incision site(s)
- Facial asymmetry
- Higher hairline
- Injury to facial nerves
- Eye dryness/irritation
The chance of complications is minimized by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing brow lifts.