What is a brow lift?
A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift or browplasty, is a cosmetic procedure to combat sagging brows, which can give the face an older or tired look. The procedure can provide a rejuvenated appearance of the forehead and the brow and eye area.
Why is a brow lift done?
As we age, the forehead area naturally begins to move down because the skin and soft tissue slowly lose their elasticity. The distance between the eyebrows and eyelashes becomes shorter and can make your face look tired, sad or even angry. A brow lift can restore a more refreshed and youthful appearance.
What happens during the procedure?
There are various techniques that a doctor may use depending on the desired results. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. Your doctor may use one of the following techniques:
- Coronal brow lift
During this procedure, your surgeon will make an incision behind your hairline, from ear to ear. They will then lift your forehead into the new position. The excess scalp is then removed and the skin is sewn together.
This procedure leaves a scar behind your hairline, so it isn’t very suitable for people who have thin hair, a high hairline or are likely to lose their hair in the future.
- Endoscopic brow lift
This procedure uses keyhole surgery to access the area. Your surgeon will make a few small incisions just behind your hairline and inset a long tube with a very small light and camera attached to the end. The surgeon will then inspect the muscles and soft tissues of your forehead. They will then lift the forehead up and pin it in place sutures and screws. The incisions will then finally be closed using stitches.
- Hairline brow lift
This procedure is performed on patients who have ample hair and a high forehead. The surgeon makes incisions at the top of your forehead and removes some of the skin and tissue, therefore, it will slightly reduce the length of your forehead and won’t move the hairline.
Brow lift surgery usually takes around one to two hours and requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
How do you prepare for a brow lift?
To prepare for a brow lift, you will talk to your plastic surgeon initially and they will review your medical history, do a physical exam and discuss your expectations.
As with any surgery, it carries risks so before the procedure, you should stop smoking and avoid certain medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories and herbal supplements. You should also organise for someone to collect you from the hospital the following day.
Following the procedure, your forehead will be bruised and sore and wrapped in a bandage to help minimise the swelling. There may also be some thin tubes inserted into the wounds to drain excess fluid. Bruising and swelling normally diminishes after a couple of weeks.
Your doctor will give you instructions on how to take care of the incisions and yourself. There are some important steps you can follow to help the healing process when you get home:
- Avoid applying excessive pressure to the forehead area.
- Apply a cold compress every now and then to help reduce the swelling.
- Rest with your head elevated.
- Take the pain medication recommended by your doctor.
You may need to go back to see the doctor to have the stitches removed and the wound checked over.
Your doctor will let you know when it’s ok to wash and dry your hair again and resume normal day-to-day activities.
If after the procedure you experience any of the following, you should contact a doctor right away:
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
What are the complications of this procedure?
Although rare, you should be aware of the specific complications before deciding to undergo this cosmetic procedure.
During any type of surgery, general complications can occur such as blood clots and infection, but more specifically, a brow lift can cause temporary or permanent nerve damage, alter the hairline and cause hair loss.