Forehead or Brow Lift



A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity.

To see the potential effects of a forehead lift, look into a mirror and place the palms of your hands at the outer edges of your eyes, above your eyebrows. Gently draw the skin up to raise the brow and the forehead area. That is approximately what a forehead lift would do for you.

This a procedure restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes by correcting drooping brows and improving the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired.

In a forehead lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. It is often found that those who initially seek upper-eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift is a better solution to meeting their goals.

The conventional surgical method hides the incision just behind the hairline; or it may be performed with the use of an endoscope, a viewing instrument that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions. Both techniques result in smoother forehead skin and a more animated appearance.

A forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the face. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a forehead lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids.

Some patients who believe they need Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper-eyelid surgery may still be good candidates for forehead lift. The surgeon will simply alter the incision location or perform a more conservative operation.

Remember, a forehead lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them in detail with your doctor.


Complications are rare and usually minor. In rare cases, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured, resulting in a loss of ability to raise the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead.

Formation of a broad scar is also a rare complication. In some patients, hair loss may occur along the scar edges.

Both these problems can be corrected with additional surgery.

Loss of sensation along or just beyond the incision line is more common, normally only temporary, but may be permanent in some patients.

Infection and bleeding are very rare, but are possibilities.

Most forehead lifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake but relaxed, and although you may feel some tugging and mild discomfort, your forehead will be insensitive to pain.

Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you'll sleep through the entire operation.


The Procedure

Your surgeon will help you decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals: the conventional open method, or the endoscopic forehead lift.

The Conventional Forehead Lift

  1. Thehair will be tied with rubber bands on either side of the incision line. Your head will not be shaved, but hair directly in front of the incision line may need to be trimmed.
  2. An incision starting at ear level and running across the top of the forehead and down the other side of the head is made well behind the hairline. In patients who are bald or losing hair, a mid-scalp incision that follows the natural pattern of the skull bones is sometimes recommended.
  3. Working through the incision, the skin of the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue can be removed and the muscles of the forehead can be altered or released.
  4. The incision is then closed with stitches or clips.
  5. Your face and hair will be washed to prevent irritation and the rubber bands will be removed from your hair.
  6. The incision may be covered with gauze padding the head wrapped in an elastic bandage.

The Endoscopic Forehead Lift

The same preparation and aftercare is used.

Rather than making one long coronal incision, three, four or five short scalp incisions are made, each less than 2.5cm in length. An endoscope is inserted through one of the incisions, to provide viewing using a small camera tool, whilst another instrument is inserted through a different incision, to carry out the work required.


Post Operative

Endoscopic forehead lift patients generally experience less discomfort and itching than those have the conventional lift, however some numbness, incision discomfort and mild swelling will occur, which can be controlled with medication.

It is advisable to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to minimise swelling. Swelling may also affect the cheeks and eyes; however, this should begin to disappear in a week or so.

Some hair loss around the incision is normal and temporary.

The stitches or staples used to close the incisions are usually removed within a week and the temporary fixation screws within two weeks.

Although you should be up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery.

Vigorous physical activity should limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure.

Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.

Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within about three weeks.

Reference: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/public_education/procedures/Browlift.cfm

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