Brow Lift

What is brow lift surgery?

A brow lift (also known as a ‘forehead lift’) is a surgical procedure to reposition a brow that may have sagged with age. During brow lift surgery, the shape of the eyebrows can also be modified to improve the appearance of the brow and upper eyelids.

Who is a suitable candidate for brow lift surgery?

Brow lift surgery is a good option someone who may have a sagging brow and excess upper eyelid skin due to aging, a naturally low brow, and/or frown lines that are deep in nature.

In addition, suitable candidates must be non-smoking, physically healthy individuals with realistic goals in mind.

What are the goals of brow lift surgery?

The goals of brow lift surgery include minimizing creases across the forehead, between the eyes and above the bridge of the nose, and frown lines (creases that are vertical in nature & develop between the eyebrows). Additionally, brow lift surgery can reposition and reshape the eyebrows.

At times, brow lift surgery is combined with other surgeries including eyelid surgery and facelift surgery depending on the concerns and goals of the patient and the suitability of the patient for these procedures.

What is done during brow lift surgery?

Brow lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and you will go home the same day of surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.

There are two types of brow lift techniques that are most commonly performed:

Endoscopic brow lift, where small incisions are made in the hairline – above the forehead and at the temples. Depending on the surgery (based on the patient’s appearance and goals) some incisions may be made in the upper eyelid crease to decrease frown lines. Skin and muscles are freed from their attachments and are elevated into a new position. Sutures are placed to secure the brow in its new position and shape.

Coronal brow lift also uses an incision in the hairline but is more extensive – involving an incision that may be as long as from ear to ear. Alternatively, in some cases, several shorter incisions can be used (based on the patient’s appearance and goals). The forehead is lifted and excess skin is removed. Sutures are placed to secure the brow in its new position.

At the end of the brow lift surgery, dressings are placed and will need to be worn for a few days after surgery. Patients will generally be ready to go home 2 hours after surgery is finished.

Where are the scars?

Both types of surgeries result in well concealed incision lines as they are hidden in the hair. If an endoscopic surgery is performed, there may also be small incisions in the upper eyelid creases that are well concealed.

Where is the surgery performed?

All surgeries are performed at Women’s College Hospital as day surgery by the senior plastic surgery resident under the supervision of a faculty plastic surgeon.

What to expect in the recovery? How long will I be off work? When can I resume exercise?

Patients are go home following surgery. A head dressing is placed at the end of surgery to protect the area. This should be left on and kept dry until the first follow-up appointment. The head should be elevated for the first few days after surgery to minimize swelling and bruising. Expect swelling and bruising under the eyes during the recovery. For the best results, you should plan on resting and taking it easy after surgery. For the first few days after surgery, most patients experience some swelling and discomfort at the surgical site. After which you will starting feeling better and returning to your normal self. You should plan on being off work for 1 to 2 weeks. During your recovery, you should refrain from strenuous physical activity including lifting and pulling for 4 weeks following surgery.

What are some common complications of surgery?

As with any surgery, there are some common complications that may occur. These include bleeding (hematoma formation), infection, poor wound healing, unfavorable scarring, pain (that may persist after the incisions have healed), hair loss at the incisions (scar alopecia), elevated hairline, facial asymmetry, facial nerve injury resulting in weakness or asymmetry of the eyebrows, skin loss, numbness/skin sensation changes, and the need for revision surgery.

When will I see the final results of the surgery?

Healing after brow lift surgery is a gradual process. The incisions typically heal in 2 weeks and most of the swelling and bruising have resolved by 2 weeks following surgery. Some mild swelling may persist for several months, and it may take up to a year for your results to fully appear.