Forehead lift, commonly referred to as brow lift, is a procedure designed to restore a more youthful, refreshed appearance to the forehead and brows. With aging, often the brows will begin to droop and horizontal lines and furrows between the eyebrows will begin to develop. Most patients seeking forehead lift report that friends ask them if they are angry, sad or tired. Good candidates for forehead lift are seeking improvement in softening the lines in the forehead and the frown lines above and between the eyes. “Drooping” eyebrows that cause minor hooding of the upper eyelids and laxity in the corners of the eyes will also be improved. Often, an upper lid blepharoplasty or “eyelid lift” will be performed at the same time to address eyelid puffiness and redundant skin.
Dr. Hand performs forehead lift in our accredited Marin County outpatient surgical facility under general anesthesia. Several variations of the procedure are available dependent on the degree of correction required, the age of the patient and the anatomy of the forehead and upper eyelids.
The classic forehead lift, often referred to as the coronal lift, is a procedure where the incision line runs from the top of the ear, across the top of the forehead to the other ear. The incision is made well behind the hairline so that the scar is not visible. On a patient with a high forehead, the incision is placed at the hairline. This incision avoids the look of a hairline that starts too far back. Hair usually grows into the scar site and incision lines gradually fade. A concealing hairstyle may be advised for a few months after surgery. During the surgical procedure, the brow is carefully lifted and repositioned so that extra skin can be trimmed and redraped. The muscles of the forehead between the eyebrows can be modified to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. The eyebrows are elevated to the natural position at the supraorbital rim. This procedure generally offers the best correction for most candidates.
The endoscopic forehead lift is usually reserved for the younger patient with minimal sag and furrows. The procedure is performed using an endoscope, a lighted viewing instrument attached to a video camera makes visualization of internal structures of the forehead possible. Several small incisions are placed in the hairline. In most instances, no skin is removed. The eyebrow is elevated and held in place with fixation to the underlying bone.
Recuperation and Healing
A dressing will be applied to the forehead that will be removed by Dr. Hand after the 1st or 2nd day at the office. After the removal, it is OK to gently wash the hair taking care not to disturb the wound, letting the hair air dry. The stitches and clips will be removed at or before 10 days following surgery. Initial discomfort is easily controlled by oral pain medication. Smoking must be avoided for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and afterwards. Regular exercise may be resumed at 10-14 days after the procedure. Most swelling and bruising is gone within 7 to 10 days.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result include upper and/or lower eyelid lift or facelift. Dr. Hand will carefully evaluate the brow position and the aging changes of the eyelids when making a recommendation regarding browlift.