A browlift or forehead lift is a procedure that restores a more youthful look to the upper eye and eyebrow. During this procedure, drooping eyebrow or brow tissue is elevated toward the upper eyelid. This procedure also can treat horizontal lines in the forehead and frown lines that can make a person appear tired or sad. Elevating the brow tissue can produce the effect of opening and “brightening” the entire look of the eyes. It is frequently done at the same time of an eyelid rejuvenation (blepharoplasty), and/or a facelift.
Who is a Candidate?
Patients typically range in age from 40 to 70 and have sagging brows. The sagging can create the appearance of additional upper eyelid skin and make patients look tired. Patients with furrowed brows and “frown” lines can benefit from this procedure.
Before the Procedure
Your surgeon will give you specific guidelines about preparing for surgery, including:
- Smoking cessation
- Medications to avoid
- When to take your prescribed medications
- Proper washing techniques
- Restrictions regarding eating and drinking the night before surgery
Browlifts can be done in a variety of ways with different types of incisions. Prior to the procedure, your plastic surgeon will perform a careful evaluation of your entire face. He or she will suggest the type of procedure that will work best in your particular case, and show you the location of the incisions. The incisions may be short or long depending on the degree of brow sagging, heaviness of the tissues, and whether or not you are having another procedure performed at the same time.
Where Will the Surgery Be Performed?
A browlift usually is done in a hospital as outpatient surgery, and you will have to be driven to and from the hospital by a friend or family member.
Type of Anesthesia
Your doctor will recommend the best type of anesthesia for you but local anesthesia along with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia can be used.
Immediate Postoperative Recovery
In most cases, patients report discomfort around the incision site, as well as a headache that can be controlled with prescription medication. Swelling of the forehead and eyes, and sometimes the cheeks, is common. In order to minimize the swelling, you should keep your head elevated. You may notice signs of bruising (black and blue discoloration). Both the swelling and bruising will begin to disappear in a week.
In most cases, patients will be able to return to work in approximately 10-14 days and vigorous physical activity will be limited for several weeks.
A browlift often will enhance the appearance of your brow and eye region. Before surgery, however, you should discuss your specific goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon. While complications of browlift are uncommon, there could be a slight asymmetry of brow appearance. In addition to risks associated with anesthesia, loss of skin sensation and temporary hair loss also may occur.
Not every person is a candidate for this procedure, and your risks may be greater or different than those of other patients. Your plastic surgeon will review all potential risks and complications with you prior to the surgery.
A browlift can produce a refreshed and rejuvenated look to the brow and upper eyelid area.