Everything sags as we age. On the brows, this sagging is unattractive and can make you appear older than you actually are. Plus, it can give the wrong impression to other people, leaving them thinking you’re either perpetually tired or perpetually angry. If the sagging gets bad enough, it can even impact your vision.
A brow lift with the team at Longwood Eye & LASIK Center can reduce the sagging and help with your first impressions.
What Is a Brow Lift?
A brow lift is a surgical procedure targeting the forehead and eyebrow area of the face. It removes forehead wrinkles and lines, tightens the skin and underlying tissue, and returns a younger, more alert appearance.
Brow Lift Candidate
At Longwood Eye & LASIK Center, our brow lift patients are usually between 40 and 60 years old, and are troubled by sagging brows and aging forehead skin. The goal for these patients is to erase their forehead wrinkles and bring the brows back up. If you’d like a simple preview of a brow lift, do this. Stand in front of a mirror and place the lower palm of each hand just above the eyebrows on each side of your head. Now gently pull the skin up and away from your eyes. What you see is basically what a brow lift will accomplish.
How Is a Brow Lift Performed?
At Longwood Eye & LASIK Center we generally perform brow lifts with two methods. We’ll discuss which method fits your unique situation during your consultation.
- Coronal brow lift — This method is also called a traditional brow lift. A long incision in the shape of a pair of headphones starts at one ear and wraps around the forehead ending at the other. This incision is made back in the hairline to minimize visible scarring. In some cases, the hairline may be raised subtly. We’ll then lift the forehead skin away from the underlying tissues and trim and reposition the underlying muscles. The eyebrows will likely be lifted. The final step is to trim any excess skin, and then re-drape the skin over the forehead and close the incision.
- Endoscopic brow lift — Endoscopic technology has come a long way, enabling brow lifts with less scarring and great results. Endoscopic brow lifts have become the preferred method for our brow lifts, but, as you would assume, they cannot achieve quite the same degree of lifting in more severe cases. In an endoscopic brow lift, we make three to five short incisions (each around one inch long) near the hairline. Through one incision, we then insert an endoscope, a thin instrument with a camera on the end. This allows our surgeons to see beneath the forehead skin without the long incision of a traditional lift. Through the other incisions, instruments are inserted to lift the skin and reposition the muscles.
Brow Lift Recovery
A brow lift involves a good deal of lifting of the forehead skin and brows and repositioning underlying muscles. Because of this, there will be swelling and bruising and it can migrate down into your cheeks and around your eyes. This will generally resolve itself in a week to 10 days, especially if you’re diligent with the application of a cold compress. For the first two days following your procedure, you’ll need to keep your head elevated even when sleeping.
As you would expect, recovery from a traditional brow lift is far more involved than an endoscopic lift. The length of the incision will make for more residual pain, and there will be some itching after the incision has fully healed. There will also be numbness and tingling predominantly near the incision. As with the itching, this can last a few months.
Most patients can return to work within around 10 days, but any exercise or lifting that creates pressure on the forehead will need to be avoided for up to one month.
What Will My Scarring Be Like?
In a traditional brow lift, the incision is long, but mainly it is hidden within the hairline. In an endoscopic brow lift the small incisions are almost invisible within a few months after your procedure.
Can I Have BOTOX Injections Instead of a Brow Lift?
BOTOX works by temporarily paralyzing a muscle that creates a wrinkle on the skin surface when it contracts. BOTOX is effective on wrinkles around the eyes, the 11s between the brows, and on most forehead wrinkles. However, if sagging skin and sagging brows are creating the real problem, BOTOX does not improve those problems. If you would like, you can have some BOTOX injected and see what your results are. If you still notice the sagging, a brow lift is a better option. Also, remember BOTOX only lasts around four months, while the results of a brow lift last a decade or more.
Can a Facelift Achieve the Same Results of a Brow Lift?
There is a misperception about a facelift. Facelifts target aging on the lower portion of the face, predominantly the cheeks and chin area. Brow lifts target the upper face — the forehead and the brows. For full-face rejuvenation, combining both procedures can be a great option. It does create a more involved recovery, however.