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 form 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. Most incisions are still hidden in the hair and the recovery is quite rapid. 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. For those not needing a total brow lift, a modification using only lateral incisions, again, hidden in the hair, can provide excellent correction of the more lateral problems. 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. Problems to consider are 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 for your brow lift. While the traditional coronal incision is rarely used, he still will decide between an endoscopic brow lift that requires four or five short incisions within the hairline, a more limited lateral lift, or Dr. Buchanan’s newer approach that is even less invasive.
No matter which method is used, there will be tissue trauma and bruising. This is inevitable when the adjustment of support tissues and surface skin. This subsequent bruising is not anywhere near as prevalent as with the former traditional brow lift method using one long incision. Still, you should plan on bruising that will run its course in a week to 10 days. 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.
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 work and normal activities within a week, but heavy lifting and vigorous exercise will need to wait for about one month. You need to avoid increasing blood pressure to the face.
Dr. Buchanan will make your incisions within your hairline. Your sutures will be removed typically in about 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 individual patients have different timeframes for this to resolve. You may have some hair loss around your incisions, but this should only be temporary.
The goal in a brow lift is to give permanent improvement to the transverse lines and frown lines of the forehead. And Dr. Buchanan may opt to remove or alter the muscles between your eyebrows. These are permanent changes. Still, the procedure won’t halt the effects of gravity and aging. Aspects of your brow lift will remain — for instance, forehead lines will never again be as severe. But the brows will continue to descend with aging. The average brow lift patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last from 10-12 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.
The changes made by Dr. Buchanan are permanent. Muscle adjustments, tissue re-draping, release of the muscles that control your eyebrows — these are all permanent revisions that should dramatically improve sagging and hooding on your forehead and 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 coronal incision wrapping around the entire forehead. 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. While these newer methods may not be able to make the degree of change necessary for your particular situation, they are changing this procedure moving forward.
Brow lift patients are typically between the ages of 40 and 60 and aren’t happy with the sagging skin 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 a overall sagging to their brows. This sagging can present a perpetually tired or angry countenance. They may also have hooding of the skin above the eyelids.