The upper eyelid and eyebrow are intimately intertwined. Some patients who seek a consultation for eyelid surgery learn that the improvement in appearance they desire may include a brow/forehead lift in place of, or in addition to, an eyelid lift. Patients typically consider the removal of excess skin and fat excess as the primary procedure. However the lid and the brow are not mutually exclusive—and successful rejuvenation of them must be addressed together. Surgery on one directly affects the shape, contour and function, of the other. A low position of the eyebrow can contribute to, or worsen the appearance of heavy upper lids. Both must be addressed to achieve the best result.
Both age and heredity can play a role in the shape and position of your forehead and brows and their relationship to the eyelids. Brows that have descended can make one look as though they are worried, tired or sad. In its basic form, a forehead or brow lift repositions the soft tissue of the forehead thereby raising the brow line. If the distance between the brows and eyebrow has narrowed, a forehead lift is indicated. By elevating and tightening the eyebrows, forehead skin and associated muscles, a more youthful, alert expression is created. As a byproduct, frown lines and forehead creases may improve.
Why a brow or forehead lift?
Fight the signs of aging: The eye area is one of the first to show your age. Correcting drooping lids and descending brows immediately restores a more youthful look.
Change your expression: Sagging and dropping brows can make you appear tired, stressed, angry or sad. Some patients feel they look overly serious. Lifting the brow line will help soften your features and reveal your true expressions.
Minimize wrinkles: Forehead lines and wrinkles continue to become more prominent as we age. A brow/forehead lift will help tighten and smooth the skin’s appearance.
Improved confidence: There is no substitute for confidence. A brow/forehead lift will deliver a subtle yet powerful change that will influence how you feel about yourself.
Why Dr. Pinsky?
Conservative approach: Our plastic surgeon, Dr. Pinsky, is acutely aware that an over elevated brow can lead to a permanently “surprised” look that is not easily corrected. You can trust that their judgment and skill will avoid potential eyelid and brow distortions or asymmetry.
Gender consciousness: The male and female brows are different in terms of height and configuration and they must be treated as such. Dr. Pinsky understands the nuances associated with retaining a masculine or feminine result.
Fluent in all surgical options: Depending upon your specific condition and goals, a correction may involve a coronal forehead lift, an endoscopic brow lift, a temporal lift or a combination of BOTOX® Cosmetic, fillers and/or fat grafting. Dr. Pinsky is familiar with all of the options, and will help determine the best approach for you.
How Does It Work?
Each of the three types of brow lift is designed to correct a different area of concern. Depending on individual patient goals and physical needs, the specific technique used will vary.
Coronal Brow Lift: Using a horizontal incision along the hairline—depending on forehead height and pattern of hair—excess skin is trimmed and re-draped. Underlying muscles are tightened and the scar is typically hidden in the hairline.
Endoscopic Brow Lift: In an approach similar to arthroscopic surgery, a series of small incisions is made and a scope is used to guide instruments to the target area. This procedure is utilized where there is little excess skin, and many patients prefer the smaller scalp incisions.
Temporal Brow Lift: In the case of sagging along the lateral eyebrow, a temporal approach involves an incision made at or behind the temple hairline just above the ear. The muscles along the brows are repositioned and secured through the use of undetectable permanent sutures or dissolvable anchoring devices.
Brow lift surgery is performed at an accredited surgery center or hospital on an outpatient basis. The treatment requires general anesthesia, and usually takes about one hour to complete, unless it is combined with other cosmetic enhancement procedures.
Preparing for Your Brow Lift
Dr. Pinsky will use the initial consultation to learn about patient goals and discuss which procedures may offer the best opportunity to achieve the desired outcome. There will also be an examination of the brow/forehead, and the doctor will ask several questions related to patient medical history. Additionally, prior to surgery patients will be urged to:
- Stop taking aspirin or ibuprofen for at least two weeks
- Stop drinking alcohol for at least two weeks
- Stop smoking for at least six weeks
- Stop taking herbal supplements and vitamins for two weeks
- Reduce salt intake
- Stay well-hydrated
The office will provide medication and complete instructions for follow-up care the day of surgery.
After Your Brow/Forehead Lift
You will awaken with a head wrap or compression garment following your surgery. This will be removed after one or two days. Most patients find that keeping their head elevated and using cold compresses reduced swelling and discomfort. Mild pain and discomfort are common post-surgery, but can be managed with medication. If you experience a sharp pain that is not alleviated by medication, you should contact us immediately. A drain may be placed, and is typically removed in the first few days.
You will need to avoid all strenuous activities for two weeks. Most patients can return to normal activities/office work after one week providing there are no complications. Risks include bleeding, infection, poor healing, and widened scars—most of which are avoided by paying careful attention to pre and post surgery instructions.
You may notice some temporary asymmetry at the hairline or thinning hair at the incision sites. Improvement is typically seen after a few weeks.