WHAT IS A FOREHEAD LIFT, OR BROWLIFT?
A forehead lift or “browlift” is a surgical procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. It improves lateral hoods, which are the droopy flaps of skin that hang over the outside corner of the eyes.
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. Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper-eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift better meets their surgical goals.
During your consultation, Dr. Graham will examine your facial structure, the condition of your skin, your hairline, and the muscle activity when you assume various facial expressions in order to decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals. The three most common browlift approaches are: (1) classic or “open” method, (2) endoscopic forehead lift, and (3) Browpexy.
WHAT DOES BROWLIFT SURGERY INVOLVE?
In a forehead lift, the skin and tissues affected by furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Graham may use the conventional surgical method, in which the incision is hidden just behind the hairline, a hairline incision which is at the hairline, or a direct excision where the incision is just above the brow. He does not perform endoscopic browlift as the results are not long lasting.
The classic forehead lift: Before the operation begins, your hair will be tied with rubber bands on either side of the incision line. Your head will not be shaved, but hair that is growing directly in front of the incision line may need to be trimmed. A coronal incision will be used. It follows a headphone-like pattern, starting at about ear level and running across the top of the forehead and down the other side of the head. The incision is usually made well behind the hairline so that the scar won’t be visible. If your hairline is high or receding, the browlift incision may be placed just at the hairline, to avoid adding even more height to the forehead. For patients who are bald or losing hair, a mid-scalp incision that follows the natural pattern of the skull bones is sometimes recommended. By wearing your hair down on your forehead, most such scars become relatively inconspicuous.
After the browlift incision is made, working through the incision, the skin on the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue and the muscles of the forehead can be altered or released. The eyebrows may also be elevated and excess skin at the incision point will be trimmed away to help create a smooth appearance. The incision is then closed with sutures and staples (within the hairbearing scalp).
OTHER THAN RAISING THE BROW, DOES BROWLIFT HAVE OTHER EFFECTS?
Browlift has the effect of raising the upper eyelids as well as the brow. Many people who think they need upper eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty, actually just need a browlift. In addition to raising the brow, a browlift, if done a certain way can actually cause a forehead reduction. A forehead reduction is desirable for many of those who are losing hair or have a naturally high hairline.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BROWLIFT?
As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. 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, or simply have deep horizontal creases across the forehead. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure. A normal eyebrow is located slightly above the bony prominence above the eye in women, and at the bony prominence in men. Browlift is a great technique for those patients whose brows have fallen below these levels. Often people think that they have drooping eyelids when in fact it is the brow that is low.
WHO IS A POOR CANDIDATE FOR BROWLIFT?
Browlift will not be performed in present smokers. The procedure relies on a good blood supply to the very thin facial flaps. The blood supply in smokers is permanently altered, putting them at excess risk for complication.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RISKS OF BROWLIFT?
Please refer to the following form published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
WILL I NEED TO BE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR A BROWLIFT?
A browlift is an outpatient procedure performed in a hospital or surgery center for which you will go home the same day. Forehead lift, or browlift can be performed in approximately one to two hours under general anesthesia. In select cases a direct or lateral browlift can be performed in an office surgery suite under local anesthesia.
WHAT IS THE BROW LIFT RECOVERY TIME? TIME OFF OF WORK? DRIVING? RESTRICTIONS?
This is dependant on the type of work you perform. Many patients will require 1-2 weeks. Avoid straining or heavy lifting for 2 weeks. You may drive when you are off narcotics and feel confident to control the car. Most patients are able to drive within 1 week.
HOW MUCH DOES BROW LIFT SURGERY COST?
The US average cost for browlift surgery is $5000. Dr. Graham’s all inclusive pricing can be found here.
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