Brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, is a procedure designed to elevate and reshape the eyebrow region. As the aging process occurs, forces of gravity cause the eyebrows and forehead to descend. As the eyebrows fall, they push excess skin into the upper eyelid, causing a heavy, crowded, tired look to your eyes. These changes also result in the development of deep creases between the eyebrows.
Traditionally, the brow lift procedure required a wide incision across the scalp. Now, with the advancements in surgical technology, a brow lift can be done endoscopically (endobrow), which only requires small incisions. In this less invasive surgical technique, small telescopes are used to reposition the brow. As a result, there is minimal downtime with less swelling, bruising, and numbness.
Patients with a high forehead, where the hairline starts farther back, may not be good candidates for the endoscopic brow lift. For these individuals, the surgery will typically entail an incision made in front of the hairline (pretrichial brow lift). This incision placement is designed to be easily concealed. By using this technique, patients can achieve both an enhanced brow position as well as a lowered hairline on the forehead.
Brow lift surgery can also be performed utilizing the temporal, trichial, direct, or indirect lift techniques. In the temporal lift, the end of the brow is raised, which can provide a more feminine, arched brow appearance. The trichial lift is similar to the pretrichial technique, but the hairline location is not adjusted. The direct and indirect lifts are usually performed on men who have thinning or balding hair, since they would not be eligible for other techniques. For the direct technique, an incision is made right above the brow; an indirect lift involves the incision made in a horizontal forehead crease.
Although the brow lift can be done as an isolated procedure, it is commonly performed in combination with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). Together these procedures help provide a more rejuvenated look to the entire upper face and forehead. The brow lift is also commonly performed in tandem with face lift.
Brow lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, typically in an outpatient surgery center though limited brow lifts like the temporal lift may be performed as an office-based procedure. Deep sedation (twilight anesthesia) or general anesthesia are commonly used. In some cases, local anesthesia alone may be used for a lateral temporal lift, direct brow lift, or indirect brow lift. The surgery typically takes two to three hours to complete.
Swelling and bruising are common during the first seven to ten days after surgery, particularly around the eyes. Any pain or discomfort that patients experience can be controlled with low-dose prescription medication. Dressings, bandages and stitches are removed 5-7 days following surgery. Refinements and improvements are seen immediately after the dressings have been removed. Final healing takes place over several weeks. Most patients are presentable in public within seven to ten days and work can usually be resumed at this time. Patients who are not bothered by the bandages may be able to return to work sooner.
Dr. Hilinski’s office in San Diego, CA is conveniently located near the following:
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