A forehead lift, or brow lift, can revitalize your drooping or lined forehead, the area between the eyebrows and, to some extent, the upper eyelids and lateral eye area helping you to look less angry, sad or tired. We can:
You can combine the procedure with other operations such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) to further improve the look of your eyes and other areas of your face. However, if the descent of your brow, which pushes the brow tissue into the upper eyelid areas, is the main cause of your upper eyelid problem, then you may need only the brow lift to correct both the brow and the upper eyelids.
We previously did most brow lifts using four or five short incisions hidden in the hair, and an endoscope, a slim instrument with a camera on the end. This provided excellent improvement and fast recovery while maintaining a natural appearance, but required significant time and moderate sedation or general anesthesia. Although this was a significant advance over an incision all the way across the scalp, we have now simplified the procedure even more so that it can be done in the office under local anesthesia in much less time and with faster recovery. Most incisions are still hidden in the hair. We actually strive to place your eyebrows where you naturally hold them, but without you having to use the wrinkle-causing muscles of the forehead to do so. You should be able to return to most activities in a few days with minimal, or easily concealed bruising. There are also modifications for those with a high hairline, including elevation of the brow through a blepharoplasty incision.
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A brow lift/forehead lift with Dr. Buchanan focuses solely on the upper third of the face, the area from above the eyelids and the sides of the eyes to the hairline at the top of the forehead. The main thing to consider is the degree of sagging in your brows. Is the skin sagging to a degree that you appear tired or angry? Is the skin sagging to a degree that it is creating some hooding of your eyelids? Do you have horizontal lines across your forehead? How about the 11s between your brows? Finally, do you have crow’s feet at the outside of each eye? These are the areas a brow lift/forehead lift with Dr. Buchanan can change.
Your recovery will be dependent upon the method Dr. Buchanan uses and whether just the lateral brow is lifted or the medial muscles are also removed through the upper eyelid.
No matter what is done, there will be some swelling and bruising. This is inevitable from any surgery. With only a temporal incision, both are minimal. Both should resolve in a week or two. You can mitigate this by keeping your head elevated above the level of your torso for the first two or three days, even while sleeping. We also provide medications that reduce bruising and speed its resolution.
Because incisions are short, there is less itching than was prevalent with longer incisions. But you will have some numbness both at the incision sites and where tissues have been adjusted. This will pass as the nerves become adjusted to the re-draped tissue.
Most patients can return to light activities within a day or so and work and normal activities within a week.
Dr. Buchanan will make your incisions within your hairline and/or the upper eyelid for most procedures. Your sutures will be removed typically in about 3 days to one week. While the incisions heal relatively quickly, you may have some itching and numbness that can last for a number of weeks. This will eventually go away, but varies by patient. You may have some hair loss around your incisions, but this should only be temporary.
The goal in a brow lift is to elevate the brow. This can reduce the transverse lines and frown lines of the forehead since the muscles no longer have to hold the brow up. You and Dr. Buchanan may opt to also remove or alter the muscles between your eyebrows. These are permanent changes. Still, the procedure won’t halt the effects of gravity and aging. The average brow lift patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last from 10-15 years.
There are no special preparations needed for this procedure. Preparation is the same as with any surgery. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other supplements because they can increase bleeding and post-procedure bruising. Stop smoking. You’ll need to arrange for a friend to drive you to and from your surgery. Washing your face and hair the night before and the morning of your procedure is also important.
The changes made by Dr. Buchanan are permanent. Muscle adjustments, tissue re-draping, and release of the muscles that control your eyebrows are all permanent revisions that should dramatically improve sagging of your forehead and hooding above your eyelids.
These are interchangeable terms. There is a difference in how Dr. Buchanan handles these procedures, however. Traditional brow lifts require a long incision wrapping around the entire forehead just at or behind the hairline from ear to ear. These are not used much anymore except in patients with extreme sagging who need a good deal of tissue removed. Endoscopic methods have made for much shorter incisions and easier recoveries. Still, Dr. Buchanan uses methods that utilize even smaller incisions and make for faster recovery times. These methods can be done in the office under local anesthesia.
Brow lift patients are typically those who aren’t happy with the descent of the brows, crowding of upper eyelids, and lines on their forehead. Good candidates for a brow lift have horizontal lines across their forehead, vertical lines between their eyebrows, crow’s feet at the sides of the eyes, and an overall sagging to their brows. This sagging can present a perpetually tired or angry countenance. They may also have hooding of the upper eyelids.