Brow and Forehead Procedures

The effects of aging are inevitable, and no location shows this aging more than the brow and forehead area. The skin begins to lose its elasticity from a variety of sources, like the sun, wind and gravity. These elements cause frown lines, wrinkling across the forehead, and an increasing heaviness of the eyebrows. Even people in their thirties may have faces that look older than their years. Your tired, angry, or sad expression may not reflect how you actually feel. When a surgeon tightens loose skin and removes the excess, forehead wrinkling and drooping brows are modified. The procedure is called a forehead lift or brow lift.

If necessary, the surgeon removes part of the muscle that causes vertical frown lines between the brows. The result can be a smoother brow and a more youthful expression. As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. To see what a forehead lift can do for your face, put your hands above your brows and outside the edges of your eyes and gently raise the skin upwards. Forehead lifts are an option if you have a sagging brow or deep furrows between the eyes. This procedure is usually done between age forty and sixty-five, although it may be necessary at an earlier age.

Model showing Brows and Forehead

What to Expect from Your Brow Lift Surgery

The main difference among the various options for forehead lifting is in the placement of the incision. The original technique is the coronal incision, which is made slightly behind the natural hairline. An alternative is the pre-trichial incision. This is similar to the coronal incision except that the mid-portion of the incision is made directly at the hairline. This incision generally heals favorably and has the advantage of lowering the hairline. The disadvantage could be noticeable scarring. An option is to place the incision within the midforehead creases. This is primarily used in men with deep pre-existing forehead lines.

The newest approach is endoscopic surgery. Four to five small one-half-inch to one-inch incisions are placed just behind the hairline. Through these the forehead and brows are released and elevated with special instruments. This technique is less invasive and results in a smaller chance of temporary scalp numbness. Dr. Ferguson performs over 90% of his browlifts this way. This procedure takes less than one hour to perform. It is most commonly performed in our facility with local anesthetics. It is usually combined with other procedures.

Post Brow Lift Surgery

You will experience a certain amount of swelling and bruising in the 10-day period following surgery. In some patients, this condition may include the cheek and eye area as well as the forehead. You are advised to keep your head elevated in order to reduce swelling. Cold compresses may further reduce swelling.

As the incisions heal, you may experience some numbness as well as itching, both of which will diminish with time. The sutures are usually removed within ten to fourteen days following surgery. If bandages have been used, they may be removed the next day.
You can shower and wash your hair at that time. For most patients, the recovery time will not exceed two weeks, but patients may still be advised to avoid strenuous activities for longer periods. Any prolonged bruising can be camouflaged with standard make-up techniques.

Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons, but if this surgery is being done to correct or improve sagging foreheads and brows which interfere with your vision, all or some of the procedure may be reimbursable.