Brow / Forehead Lift
A brow lift, which many patients and plastic surgeons also refer to as a forehead lift, erases the signs of aging from the face and improves appearance. Frown and wrinkle lines can make people look serious and old before their time. The process of aging also causes the skin to relax and droop around the eyes, causing a chronically tired appearance. The most common reasons that people choose to have this procedure include:
- To change the position of the eyebrows in order to appear younger and more alert.
- To reduce sagging eyebrows that may be coming down into the eyelids.
- To reduce the appearance of vertical creases between the eyebrows known as frown lines.
Some people also choose to have other plastic surgery procedures performed at the same time as the brow lift, such as an eyelid tuck. The ideal plastic surgery patient is a non-smoker who is generally in good health. Having realistic expectations for the brow lift is important as well.
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Western Maryland Medical Arts Center
12052 Willowbrook Road, Suite 460
Cumberland, MD 21502
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm
What to Expect the Day of the Brow Lift
The first step of any plastic surgery procedure is for the patient to receive general anesthesia or intravenous sedation until he or she feels relaxed and comfortable.
A coronal incision goes from one ear to the other across the top of the head. The surgeon cuts only the hair-bearing skin for this procedure. Once the coronal incision is made, the next step is to lift the forehead skin and adjust the muscles while they are clearly visible. The scar this procedure leaves behind is well disguised by the patient’s hair.
For patients who have a very high forehead, the surgeon may choose an alternative type of coronal incision. By making an incision at the anterior hairline, the plastic surgeon can lift the brow without changing the height of the patient’s front hairline. Although a light scar may be visible on the forehead, it can be disguised by wearing bangs. With all types of brow lifts, the surgeon uses sutures, skin adhesives, clips, or surgical tape to close the incision.
What to Expect with Brow Lift Surgery Recovery
After closing the incision site, the surgeon tapes the patient’s forehead and wraps the head to minimize swelling and bruising. If necessary, the patient will also receive a small drainage tube to keep excess fluid and blood away from the surgical site. Because of receiving anesthesia, patients must arrange for someone to drive them home at the conclusion of the brow lift surgery.
As the anesthesia starts to wear off, patients often feel that their forehead and brow area is tight and hot. Prescription painkillers normally eliminate this problem. Patients may feel some or all of the following sensations in their first several days at home following surgery:
- Periodic sharp pains
- Cold sensations
- Scalp numbness due to nerve separation during surgery
- Bruising and swelling
- Blackening underneath one or both eyes
These reactions should decrease in intensity and disappear entirely within a few weeks. Using two or three pillows when sleeping for the first several nights can decrease total healing time. It is important to get up and moving within two days to prevent the possibility of blood clots. Patients should also be able to wash their hair at the two-day mark. Avoiding contact sports for six weeks is essential. Additionally, brow lift patients should not pick up anything weighing more than 15 pounds during this same time frame.
Most patients can return to work with make-up about two weeks after surgery. The full effect of the procedure will be obvious approximately two weeks after that.