A brow lift, also called an endobrow lift or a forehead lift, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce sagging in the skin on the forehead, upper eyelids, and eyebrows. Brow lifts are most often used to help reverse signs of aging, usually in individuals over the age of 40, although this procedure is suitable for adult patients of any age. As the body ages, skin loses some of its elasticity and resilience. This trend, along with years of skin exposure to environmental effects, can result in the formation of deep wrinkles and droopy skin. A brow lift can help reverse the process by minimizing creases in the forehead and reducing furrowed brow lines, droopy eyebrows, and hooding over the eyes.
Brow lifts are typically outpatient procedures. They may be performed under local or general anesthetic depending on the extent of the work needed. The surgery can be accomplished using one of two techniques: the classic lift or the endoscopic lift. The classic lift makes use of a single continuous incision which runs along the hairline from one ear to the other. Sagging tissues are manipulated into place and portions of the muscles and skin causing the deep lines and wrinkles are removed.
The endoscopic lift makes use of several short incisions that run along the scalp. A scope is inserted into one of the incisions so the surgeon can view the tissues and muscles. A second scope is then inserted into another incision, so that the necessary modifications can be made to the underlying muscles and tissues. Tiny titanium anchors inserted under the skin near the hairline serve to secure sagging tissue. The advantage of the endoscopic procedure is that it is much less invasive than the classic lift, allowing for a reduced recovery time and minimal scarring.
Both the classic and endoscopic lift methods require stitches or staples to close the incisions. Some procedures will also make use of temporary fixation screws, removed after two weeks, which hold the reconstructed brow in place while the body heals. All patients should expect swelling and bruising of the face, including those areas adjacent to the brow. Keeping the head elevated as much for possible for the first few days after surgery will help minimize these side-effects. Other possible side-effects include temporary numbness of the face and headaches. Patients of a classic brow lift may also find that they experience some itching and hair loss.
Brow lifts, as with any other type of surgical procedure, do present some potential risks. Patients run the risk of developing an infection around the incision sites. They may experience facial muscle weakness and stiffness, as well as excessive scarring. Other, more serious side-effects can include permanent damage to facial nerves and loss of facial motion.
For more information about brow lifts and to determine if this procedure is right for you, contact a local cosmetic surgeon and arrange for a personal consultation.