Your eyebrows can start to droop with age, altering the appearance of your eyes as you once knew them. In some instances, the sagging can begin to affect your vision. If you feel gravity tugging at your eyes, brow lift surgery can rejuvenate your look by repositioning your brows so they sit higher on your face while also restoring a more youthful contour to your forehead, upper eyelids and brows.
A brow lift, also known as a browplasty or forehead lift, not only corrects droopy brows and upper eyelids but it can also diminish deep frown lines and furrows that can make you look perpetually angry or sad. Your results last over time, beyond any injectable toxin or filler, to physically lift and suspend your forehead. Some brow lift techniques can also lower a high hairline and improve facial symmetry. Different surgery methods (all of them involving different lengths and location of incision) will affect your outcome.
If you have intense eyebrow droop with deep wrinkles an open forehead lift may be the key to revealing a more refreshed you. Sometimes called classic or coronal, this is the original and conventional method of brow lift wherein an incision is made across the top of the head and the skin is lifted away from underlying tissue. The scar hides just behind the hairline and can be covered with your hair. Excess skin is removed during this procedure and your forehead muscles are adjusted to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
If you’re under 40 and your skin is still elastic, with only mild to moderate brow droop, you may opt for an endoscopic brow lift. This procedure uses an endoscope (a viewing instrument with an attached video camera), inserted under the skin through tiny incisions in the scalp. The operative area is displayed on a large monitor to show the internal structures of the forehead with great detail, and results in less incision and scarring. An endoscopic brow lift usually involves three short incisions along the top of the scalp and a temple incision on each side of the face, which will be completely hidden with a longer hairstyle.
If you have crow’s feet at the outer corners of your eyes, the limited-incision brow lift combines the non-endoscopic brow lift technique with limited incision. It uses only a portion of the ends of the coronal technique incision to lift and tighten the tail of the eyebrows, and it does so without an endoscope. As for the scars? They’re virtually undetectable to the naked eye, stealthily tucked away at the temporal hairline. The good news is they’ll go unnoticed, even if you may be balding at the temples.
You may benefit from a brow lift if you have:
• A sagging or low brow that creates a permanently furrowed or angry look
• Excess skin hanging over your eyes, possibly even marring your vision
• Deep horizontal lines or creases that run across your forehead
• Deep frown lines or furrows between the brows that need more than a treatment of Botox
What To Expect
Some people who undergo a brow lift report a positive impact on their social life, as they look happier and more approachable. To get a general idea of the pleasing result you can expect, gently lift the skin above your brow, at the forehead, and see what kind of difference it makes.
During your brow lift consultation Dr. Kirman will walk you through all of the varying surgical options, anesthesia choices and how best to achieve your aesthetic goals based on the various surgery techniques.
Your brow lift will be performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation and will take about an hour or two depending on surgical technique. Your skin will be cleansed and your hair will be held away from the area of incision. The remaining skin will be pulled taut for an immediately ‘lifted’ look, and cut(s) will be sutured closed after excess tissue and skin have been removed.
You can choose to go home the day of your surgery, provided you have a designated person to take care of you. There will be dressings on your forehead that you’ll have to wear for the first 24 hours or for few days after your surgery and you’ll be advised to put cold packs around your eyes for up to 48 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. A follow-up appointment will be required in the next few days and, after a week, Dr. Kirman will remove all of the stitches (drains will not be needed). You’ll likely be a bit swollen, bruised and maybe even numb. It’s important to know that blood usually collects below the eyelids and bruises the lower lids, even if they weren’t operated. It’s only temporary. After about three weeks of healing, the skin starts to improve and the brow area will begin to look more natural.
Things To Consider
• If you’re worried about baggy eyelids or crow’s feet, there’s a chance you may actually require eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) instead of a brow lift. And, in some instances, you may need both a brow lift and an eye lift. If, when you lift the skin around your eyes, most of the upper eyelid droop goes away, then you’ll benefit from a brow lift. However, if the sagging brow is lifted and excess skin still hovers uncomfortably over your eyelids, a combo of brow lift and eye lift may be beneficial. Good news: if you’re having both of these surgeries to improve vision that’s been affected by excess skin, it may be covered by insurance.
• You may experience total numbness of your scalp at the incision site of an open brow lift and it can go on for a year after surgery, sometimes longer.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. You can expect some discomfort and tightness, particularly with an incision made across the top of the head, but medication should suffice to take any post-operative pain away. Your forehead may feel a little (or a lot) numb or even tingly, but this should be temporary.
Q. What kind of downtime should I expect?
A. Allow yourself about 10 days to heal before returning to work. During your initial week of recovery, you can be mildly active and take walks to help get the blood flowing in your legs. Strenuous activity or hard-core gym workouts should be avoided.
Q. When will I be able to wear makeup again?
A. In about two weeks.
Q. When can I expect to see results?
A. The brow lift is one surgery where results are visible and immediate, but you will be swollen at first, which makes it hard to imagine just how great you’ll look after you’ve healed. The final and best results reveal themselves in about six months time.
Q. How long will my results last?
A. Gravity will continue to assault the skin, but assuredly frown lines and wrinkles in your brow will never be as bad as they once were. Being diligent about sun protection, refraining from smoking and adopting a healthy lifestyle will prolong your result anywhere from 10 years to a lifetime.
Q. Will a browlift give me a ‘surprised’ look?
A. No. The goal is to look more youthful, not to defy gravity completely.
Q. Will my hairline look different after brow lift surgery?
A. Probably not, but it depends on the surgical approach.