5 Frequently asked questions about Brow Lifts

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Am I suitable for a brow lift?

Both men and women can be candidates for the procedure, with the average age being over 40. Generally, patients tend to believe that they require a facelift or eyelid surgery with the problems of looking tired, sad or angry when they are not. Without realising, the angry or tired appearance may not be from the eyelids or the face but instead the brow. If the brow is low toward the middle of the forehead, it gives an angry appearance whereas if it low toward the outside, it gives a tired look.

Another group of patients feel that they look older than they would like. Most patients who are candidates for a facelift or eyelid surgery can benefit from a brow lift to ensure the youthful harmony is consistent throughout.

Patients with very prominent wrinkles on their forehead would also benefit from a brow lift. These may be transverse or vertical wrinkles which can be reduced by cutting the muscles that cause them.

What are the different techniques used during a brow lift?

There are two main techniques that are used on brow lifts, these are the open and endoscopic technique. During the open technique, an incision is made across the top of the head, from one ear top to the other. The scalp and the forehead skin are then lifted and pulled back. The excess skin is removed and incision closed. This procedure can raise your hairline between 1-2cm so other incisions will be advised if your hairline is naturally high.

The endoscopic brow lift involves three to five small incisions just behind the hairline. An endoscope is a camera with a tube attached that allows the surgeon to see inside the body without making large incisions. The scalp and forehead skin are lifted off of the bone. Surgical seams are placed on the undersurface of the skin down to the bone to raise and hold down the brow. These incisions are then closed without the need for extra skin to be removed.

With both brow lift techniques, the muscles that wrinkle on the forehead could be totally or partially cut.

What happens before I have brow lift surgery?

Similar to any surgical procedure, you will have a consultation to discuss your particular case and the end results. Once you have agreed to proceed with surgery, your doctor will review all steps of the surgery with you, take photos, present you with consent forms and prescriptions will be given. You will also have tests and an electrocardiogram done by a physician and in some circumstances, medical clearance may be required.

What happens after brow lift surgery?

After surgery you will be taken to a monitored recovery room for 1 to 2 hours. Once you are stable you will be taken home or to a hotel dependent on your preference. It will be advised that you rest in bed for the first few days. Your head will be need to remain slightly elevated and still. From here, you will begin to start walking, eating and your activity will slowly increase for around 2 weeks. It may take up to 4 weeks before any strenuous activity can happen.

What are the risks with having a brow lift?

As with any type of surgery, there are potential risks with having a brow lift. The risk of infection is very low and bleeding complications are quite rare due to the small incisions. Patients are advised to stop taking blood thinners and stop smoking two weeks prior to surgery. Surgery involving the brow and forehead carries potential risk of damage to the frontal branch of the facial nerve which helps elevate the brow. However, this is quite low because surgeons can predict the nerve's path and alter their surgical path to avoid them.

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