Procedures and the Brow Lift. A forehead lift corrects sagging in the
skin of the forehead, upper eyelids, and
eyebrows. Some people get one at the
same time they get a face lift or
cosmetic surgery on their nose.
Two Types of Brow Lifts.
There are two methods to lift your
forehead and eyebrow areas:
The classic lift involves one continuous
cut beginning at the level of your ears
and going up around your hair line.
Depending on where your hair line is,
the surgeon will work to avoid a visible
scar. For the endoscopic lift, the
surgeon makes a few shorter cuts in your
scalp. He or she will insert a scope --
a small camera on the end of a thin tube
-- into one of the cuts and use another
device inserted in another cut to make
the necessary changes.
In the endoscopic lift, the surgeon uses
small anchors to secure the tissue.
Because the cuts are smaller, this
procedure is less invasive than the
classic lift. You will have minimal
scarring and a shorter recovery time.
Your Brow Lift Consultation. You'll have a meeting to consult with
your surgeon before the procedure. At
this meeting, you should talk about your
goals, your current health, and your
medical history. Your surgeon will
evaluate your entire forehead region,
including your upper eyelids, paying
attention to the muscles. The surgeon
may have you make a series of facial
expressions so he or she can best see
exactly how to help you. You should ask your surgeon for details
of all charges -- including charges for
follow-up care -- and payment options.
Health insurance typically doesn't pay
for cosmetic procedures. There would
have to be a medical reason for an
insurance company to cover some or all
of it. If you're not sure about your
case, ask your doctor and your health
insurance company before deciding
whether to get the procedure. That way
you can be clear on what you'll need to
pay for yourself.
How to Prepare for Your Brow Lift. There might be some lifestyle
adjustments you have to make before you
can have a brow lift. Your surgeon
should give you detailed instructions
about what you need to do and when you
need to do it.
How to Prepare for Your Brow Lift
For instance, if you smoke, your surgeon
may ask you to stop at least
temporarily. You may also have to avoid
alcohol and certain medications. If you
regularly take an aspirin or other
anti-inflammatory drug, your surgeon
will ask you to stop taking these for a
certain period of time before the
surgery. These drugs can cause increased
bleeding and should be avoided.
Also, if your hair is long and will get
in the way of the procedure, you may
have to trim it. If your hair is
shorter, you may want to grow it out to
cover any scars. Be sure to discuss all
these things -- as well as how to
prepare -- with your surgeon.
What You'll Need at Home After a Brow
Make sure your house is stocked with
plenty of gauze and clean towels for
when you get home after your brow lift.
Also make sure you have the following on
•Plenty of ice
•Container to use for ice or cold water
•Plastic freezer bags to hold the ice,
or bags of frozen corn or peas to use in
place of ice
•Pillows (you'll have to keep your head
elevated for a period of time)
•Ointment for the incision area (which
your surgeon can recommend or prescribe,
The Day of Your Brow Lift.
You can have the brow lift done at your
surgeon's office, in a hospital, or in
an outpatient surgery facility. The
surgery should take less than two hours,
and you will not normally need to stay
overnight. You will, though, need to
bring someone along who can drive you
home and, if you live alone, stay with
you the first night or two.
Most of the time, the surgeon will use
local anesthesia. But if it makes you
more comfortable, you can ask for an
anesthesia that will put you to sleep
during the operation (general
anesthesia). Once the operation is over,
your surgeon will close the incisions
with stitches or staples, cleanse the
area, and bandage your face.
It's very important to follow your
surgeon's instructions on how to care
for the incision and how frequently to
change the bandages.
What To Expect After a Brow Lift.
Your recovery will vary depending on
which brow lift procedure -- classic or
endoscopic -- you had.
In either case, you will have stitches
or staples that will need to be removed
in about a week. If you have temporary
fixation screws, your surgeon will
remove them in about two weeks. These
fixtures are installed beneath the
hairline to hold the elevated brow in
place. You will probably have
swelling and bruising, that can affect
parts of your face that wasn't operated
on, including your cheeks and eyes. The
swelling should be gone in about a week.
For at least two days after the surgery,
you should keep your head elevated to
help ease the swelling, and you can
gently apply ice packs to the affected
region. If your surgeon used the classic
method, you will most likely experience
more pain during your recovery. Your
doctor will give you a prescription for
a painkiller. You may also experience
more itching, which can last a few
After the endoscopic procedure, you will
also get a prescription painkiller.
Itching can be a side effect, but it
should be much milder than with the
classic method. In either case,
you may also have numbness or tingling.
This will ease over time. Those who have
the classic procedure may have more
Most people can return to work or school
within 10 days depending on which
procedure was performed and your own
personal rate of recovery. Avoid
heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, or
other activity for the first few weeks
after surgery. Though the side effects
are minimal, possible complications can
include infection, scars, complications
with eyebrow movement, or the loss of
sensation around the incision site. It's
important to remember that these
complications are rare.
After a Brow Lift, Call Your Doctor
•Fever that climbs over 100 degrees
•Excessive swelling or bleeding.