The gradual drooping of the eyebrows may encourage a patient to seek a forehead lift, also called a brow lift. This procedure restores the eyelid area to a more youthful, oval shape using surgery to remove and tighten excess tissue. It may also simply involve releasing the muscles that cause frown lines—the lines parents often get when giving “The Look” to their children. For a better understanding of how this plastic surgery procedure might enhance your appearance, look into a mirror and place the palms of your hands at the outer edge of your eyes, above your eyebrows. Gently draw the skin up to raise the brow and forehead area. Depending on your reasons for surgery, this is approximately what a forehead lift can achieve. If you think this makes you look shocked or surprised, you probably should not undergo a forehead lift. Experienced plastic surgeon Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS (“Dr. Joe”) and skilled cosmetic surgeon Karan Chopra, MD take great care to mark a patient’s skin preoperatively while they look into a mirror and verify their preferred brow placement. This diligence allows them to accurately replicate the direction of pull and determine how much elevation is necessary.
- Brow Lift Benefits
- Brow Lift Candidates
- Upper Facial Aging Causes
- Brow Lift Procedure
- Brow Lift Recovery
- Brow Lift Results
- Brow Lift Scars
- Brow Lift Cost
- Brow Lift Risks
- Brow Lift and Eyelid Surgery
- Non-Surgical Brow Lift
What Can a Brow Lift Do For Me?
A brow lift is typically used to create a more rested, energetic, and youthful facial aesthetic. One of the most noticeable signs of aging in the upper face is the formation of deep lines and lax skin in the forehead. These expression lines can contribute to the look of a sagging brow and often make men and women seem worried, stressed, or fatigued. A surgical brow lift can effectively address these concerns and diminish an aged appearance in the upper face by:
- Smoothing deep creases and folds in the brow
- Lifting loose, sagging skin in the forehead
- Elevating the eyebrows to a natural-looking, youthful position
- Reducing eyelid “hooding” caused by drooping brows
- Minimizing the appearance of furrows between the brow
Depending on your unique needs and cosmetic goals, a brow lift can be an excellent way to reverse facial aging in the forehead for long-lasting results. For patients who would prefer to avoid a surgical procedure, minimally invasive treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic or injectable dermal fillers can temporarily achieve enhancement that can be comparable to a forehead lift for certain aesthetic concerns. During a consultation in which your medical history and cosmetic needs are assessed, Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra can help you determine the best treatment to fulfill your aesthetic goals.
Is a Brow Lift Right for Me?
Brow lift surgery can provide a more refreshed look in the upper face for patients who feel like signs of aging in their forehead are making them appear older than their actual age. The procedure can achieve a brighter, more rested aesthetic with results that look natural and beautiful. You may benefit from a brow lift if:
- Sagging brows are hooding your upper eyelids
- You have frown lines even while your face is at rest
- You’re healthy and willing to undergo the recovery period after a brow lift
- You’re a non-smoker or willing to quit smoking before and after surgery
- You have a positive mindset and realistic expectations for results of the procedure
A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon will give you more insight into the procedure, and to help you determine the best treatment option to achieve your goals. Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra will evaluate your concerns and ask about your medical history to find out whether you’re a good candidate for brow lift surgery.
What Causes Upper Facial Aging?
Facial aging occurs due to a number of factors: reduced skin elasticity, decreasing collagen production as you get older, sun damage, overuse of the facial muscles, and exposure to environmental pollutants can all cause signs of aging to become more pronounced. As a result, many patients develop sagging brows, frown lines, and creases along the length of the forehead. When the brows droop, this can exacerbate the appearance of excess skin and cause (or worsen) hooding of the upper eyelids. Fortunately, these concerns can be repaired for the long-term by surgically repositioning the skin, fat, and underlying musculature. Non-surgical solutions like fillers and injectables can also offer temporary improvement, but only brow lift surgery can resolve signs of aging with long-lasting results.
What is a Brow Lift Procedure Like?
Most forehead lifts are performed through three or four small scalp incisions, each less than one inch long. An endoscope—a tiny, pencil-like camera—is inserted through one of the incisions. While looking through the endoscope, the doctor inserts an instrument through a second incision and lifts the skin and muscle. At the same time, the surgeon removes or alters underlying tissues. Eyebrows may also be lifted and secured to a higher position with sutures beneath the skin’s surface.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
The technique described above is known as an endoscopic brow lift. Compared to other surgical approaches, use of the endoscope can have the advantage of smaller incisions, less visible scarring, and an accelerated recovery period. As a less invasive technique in brow lift surgery than other methods, the endoscopic brow lift usually results in minimized bruising and swelling post-operatively. For some patients, an endoscopic brow lift is not the most effective technique. Occasionally, an incision is made across the top of the head from ear to ear, all marks hidden within the hairline. This may be a more reliable approach, depending on how thick and heavy the brow is.
What is Recovery Like for a Brow Lift?
Individuals may experience some numbness, incision discomfort, and mild swelling after your surgery. Pain at the incision site is usually minimal and mild pain medication can manage it. Stitches or staples will be removed within one week. If temporary fixation screws were used, they will be removed in two weeks.
It’s recommended to take it easy the week after surgery. Most patients are able to shower and shampoo their hair within two days. Additionally, individuals are usually back at work in a week, although vigorous physical activity should be limited for a couple of weeks. Patients should limit their exposure to heat and sun, which may promote swelling. Scars from a forehead lift should fade quickly, but they are generally permanent.
How Long Do Brow Lift Results Last?
The rejuvenation achieved from a brow lift should last well into the future, and most patients enjoy their results for decades. Although nothing will stop the natural aging process, men and women who receive a brow lift will always look more refreshed and youthful than they would if they had not undergone the procedure. Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra will give you insight into how you can maintain the outcome of your brow lift as long as possible. In general, we recommend using sun protection (sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.) every day to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Periodic “touch-up” treatments to keep your skin healthy and radiant, such as PiXel8-RF® microneedling, SkinPen® microneedling, and HydraFacial®, can also help prolong your brow lift results.
Will I Have Visible Scars After a Brow Lift?
A brow lift generally doesn’t produce significant scarring. Incisions are hidden in the scalp during an endoscopic brow lift, therefore any resulting scars will be virtually imperceptible. Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra will make sure you understand exactly where your post-operative scars will be located during your consultation. To further decrease the visibility of scarring, be sure to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions on how to take care of your incisions. This can promote proper healing of the wounds and increase the chances that your scars can fade and turn pink to some degree over time.
How Much Does a Brow Lift Cost?
The average surgical fee for a brow lift as reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is approximately $3,300, not including fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, and other related expenses. However, this figure fluctuates based on geographic location and the expertise of a given plastic surgeon. Ultimately, the total price of a brow lift is calculated according to the details of your treatment plan and a true cost estimate cannot be determined until your unique needs and concerns are evaluated by Dr. Joe or Dr. Chopra in person. Rest assured that a personalized quote will be provided once the details of your surgical plan are known. If you prefer to pay for a brow lift through a series of smaller installments rather than a lump sum, flexible plastic surgery financing plans from CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit can offer qualified applicants a number of ways to accommodate any budgetary concerns while proceeding immediately with treatment. Please reach out to our practice if you have any other questions about the price of a brow lift.
What are the Risks of Brow Lift Surgery?
Risks involved with forehead lifts are minimal, but can include infection and bleeding, numbness, delayed healing, and temporary injury to the nerves that control eyebrow movement. As with a facelift, high blood pressure can cause complications; however, any elevation in blood pressure is treated with an anti-hypertensive pill pre-operatively. As the aging process continues, individuals may have to repeat the procedure in the distant future. With that said, patients are usually pleasantly surprised after surgery by how such a simple procedure can take years off of the face.
Combining Brow Lift With Blepharoplasty
Many patients use brow lift surgery as an opportunity to refine additional aspects of their facial appearance. If you exhibit lax upper eyelid skin that may create a “hooding” effect, or puffiness and eye bags under the lower lids, combining a brow lift with a blepharoplasty procedure can be an ideal way to comprehensively reduce an aged aesthetic in the upper face. Also referred to as eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty is designed to improve the area around the eyes for long-lasting rejuvenation. For many patients, complementing a brow lift with eyelid surgery can allow individuals to address a number of age-related cosmetic concerns and achieve a more refreshed appearance overall.
Should I Get a BOTOX® Brow Lift?
In addition to a surgical brow lift, our plastic surgeons also offer non-surgical brow enhancement with BOTOX® Cosmetic. This quick injectable treatment can smooth frown lines and creases in the forehead by relaxing facial muscles, acting as an effective alternative to surgery for patients who prefer a less invasive method of treatment. However, BOTOX® Cosmetic cannot lift drooping eyebrows or tighten sagging skin and musculature. Furthermore, the results of BOTOX® Cosmetic are temporary and typically last three to six months. If your goals simply involve refreshing mild to moderate lines in the brow area, a subtle forehead lift with BOTOX® Cosmetic may be enough to achieve the desired improvement. In contrast, patients seeking longer-lasting results or more extensive improvement than wrinkle reduction are typically better suited for a forehead lift.