Understanding Forehead and Brow Lift
The effects of aging are inevitable, and, often, the brow and forehead area show the first signs. The skin begins to lose its elasticity. Sun, wind, and the pull of gravity all affect the face, resulting in 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. Others may mistake your appearance as tired, angry, or sad when this is not how you actually feel. As a result, many people have opted for a procedure known as the forehead lift. Based on variations in how men and women age and on new advances in medical technology, different methods are used to perform this procedure.
“I had this heavy feeling in my forehead all the time, and it made me feel so sleepy and tired. Sometimes I would grab my forehead and pull up, just for a moment’s relief. Then I noticed that I was losing my peripheral vision — my drooping eyebrows actually were in the way. I went to a facial plastic surgeon, and after a direct browlift and eyelid tuck, it’s like a big weight has been taken off my head. The surgery was not difficult, and now I feel refreshed. It’s a good feeling.”
— Do u g G a s t, a g e 5 1
Understanding the Surgery
The main difference among the various options for forehead lifting consists of the placement of the incision.
The newest approach is endoscopic surgery. Several small incisions are placed just behind the hairline and a scope is used to assist in the surgery. In the right patient this procedure results in less risk of numbness and scarring while having a faster recovery.
Other techniques use longer incisions to lift the brow and the location is determined by your surgeon after examining you and discussing with you the various options. While all the various procedures will raise the brow and smooth the forehead, some can even lower a high hairline and improve facial balance and harmony.
A forehead lift typically takes between one to two hours to perform. It is most commonly performed under IV sedation or twilight anesthesia.
Forehead lifting is commonly done along with upper eyelid surgery for an optimal result. Consultation with a facial plastic surgeon will help you best determine which type of procedure is best for you.
What to Expect After the 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 will be 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 seven to 10 days following surgery. If bandages have been used, they are removed in one to three days. It is important to follow the advice of your surgeon on resuming normal activities. 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.
Not infrequently, a brow lift is combined with Blepharoplasty (an eyelid tuck) or face lift to provide a harmonious rejuvenation.
Facial plastic surgery makes it possible to correct many facial flaws and signs of premature aging that can undermine self-confidence. By changing how you look, cosmetic surgery can help change how you feel about yourself.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve sagging foreheads and brows which interfere with vision may be covered in whole or in part. It is the patient’s responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.
Endoscopic surgery of the forehead includes a wide range of options, from a relatively simple technique for fixing sagging eyebrows to more complex procedures for lifting and smoothing the entire forehead area.
All information supplied by AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FACIAL PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY (AAFPRS).