As men and women age, one of the first physical signs many begin to notice is sagging or wrinkling skin above the eyebrows and on the forehead. Years of skin damage due to sun, wind, and overall gravity can oftentimes result in frown lines across upper face and a heaviness in the eyebrows that can make people as young as 40 look more tired, angry, or sad than they actually are.
Despite hundreds of lotions and other products available on the market to correct the signs of aging, there is currently only one proven way to cure a sagging brow-by undergoing a brow lift procedure. Also known as a forehead lift, plastic surgeons performing the procedure can drastically change the overall look of a patient’s face in a matter of hours through a series of short incisions and endoscopic techniques used to erase the common signs of skin damage effecting millions of Americans.
What is a brow lift?
A brow lift is a minimally invasive procedure designed to remedy the creases that develop across the forehead with age. Although specific techniques are continually evolving, brow lifts performed by certified plastic surgeons most commonly involve a series of short incisions made above the hairline, beginning behind the ears. Once these incisions have been made, a trained physician will “lift” the forehead muscles, giving the face a tighter overall appearance.
Because medical technologies are evolving so rapidly, an increasing number of doctors are beginning to use new techniques such as coronal incisions or pre-trichial incisions rather than the more common hairline incision. Which specific technique is used in the procedure, however, is up to each patient and physician individually.
The majority of brow lifts take no more than two hours to perform and only require patients to go under IV sedation or twilight anesthesia, making the operation a relatively short and simple process when performed by a qualified medical professional.
Who are the best candidates for brow lifts?
The best candidates for brow lift surgery are most commonly adults in excellent health and over the age of 30-although most patients range in age from 40 to 70-who happen to be suffering from a sagging or lower-than-normal position of the eyebrows. Other potential candidates for brow lifts include those with deep creases across their forehead, or frown lines between the eyebrows and across the bridge of the nose.
Prior to undergoing the procedure, patients may be asked by their physician to undergo lab testing or a medical evaluation to certify their overall health. In addition, they may need to adjust the dosage of certain prescription medications before or after the procedure, and may also need to stop smoking well in advance of the surgery. It is imperative that anyone contemplating undergoing a brow lift be completely honest with their doctor about all medical and lifestyle issues prior to going under the knife.
Increasingly, younger patients are choosing to undergo brow lifts in conjunction with a hair transplant, fat transfer, blepharoplasty, or face lift as a way to increase the youthfulness in the face. In these cases, patients may need to undergo additional medical testing prior to the procedure to ensure they are healthy enough for the brow lift operation.
What are the benefits of brow lifts?
Satisfied brow lift patients report an endless number of benefits, aside from the obvious cosmetic outcome of having fewer deep lines and wrinkles on the upper face. Depending on a patient’s desired results and appearance prior to the surgery, the overall outcome of a brow lift can be anything from subtle to dramatic.
For many, a successful brow lift can be the first chance in years for their outward appearance to reflect the youthful spirit and energy they feel inside. Once initial swelling has subsided and a patient has undergone a full several weeks of recovery, the majority report feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated than they have in years.
What risks are involved?
As with all surgeries, those undergoing brow lifts do face a certain set of medical risks. Although complications are rare, patients should be aware that they may not be able to move their eyebrows or forehead after the surgery, a condition that requires additional surgeries to correct. In addition, brow lift patients risk losing sensation at the incision line, permanent hair loss, or scarring, as well as more common plastic surgery risks which include infection, bleeding, or other minor complications.
Patients should consult with their doctors to receive full information about each of these potential side effects and complications before going under the knife.
The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate health care provider.