What is a brow lift?
Brow lifting is an outpatient surgical procedure designed to elevate the resting position, and often shape, of the eyebrows. The goal is to achieve a less tired, fresh appearance.
Who is candidate?
Patients who are concerned about a heavy, tired appearance caused by a low-set eyebrow are great candidates for a lifting procedure. A ptosis (or sagging) eyebrow may be congenital, traumatic, or a part of the aging process. An understanding of the ideal brow position is important to identify patients who will benefit and help avoid unnecessary surgery and an unnatural, surprised look postoperatively. In men the ideal eyebrow is right along the superior orbital rim (upper edge of the eye socket) and has an even, subtle arch. In women, the ideal eyebrow position is slightly above the orbital rim and has a natural peak a bit laterally. Shape, position, and hairline are all carefully considered during the consultation.
What does a brow lift procedure involve?
There are many techniques used to elevate the brow. The best type for you depends on several factors. The common types of brow lifts include:
- Endoscopic brow lift – This is the most common brow lift performed today. The small incisions are concealed in the hairline and there is considerably less forehead numbness, bleeding, and scarring when compared to some of the other methods. This technique is great for patients with a full hairline, and normal-to-short forehead height.
- Lateral brow lift – This technique is similar to an endoscopic lift, but with less dissection over the middle of the forehead. It is ideal for patients who want a minimally-invasive procedure and need accentuation of the lateral brow peak.
- Classic brow lift – The traditional brow lift involves an incision just behind the hairline and can obtain dramatic and predictable lifting of the brow. The disadvantages to this lift include the size of the incision as well as high incidence of scalp numbness associated with the procedure. It also raises the height of the forehead. A trichophytic brow lift is a variation of this technique better suited for patients with a high forehead.
- Direct Brow lifting involves small incisions near the brow, often concealed in a forehead wrinkle. With this technique, a small strip of skin is removed and the brows are raised and suspended in a more favorable position. This is often the best choice for male patients or those with thinning hair whose incisions would not hide well with other techniques.
- Transconjunctival brow lifting is similar to the direct brow lift but is done through a traditional upper blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) incision. This hides very nicely in the eyelid crease and has the advantage of addressing excess eyelid skin and low brow height through a single incision.
What is the recovery like?
The recovery depends on the specific procedure, but is generally quite well-tolerated with a mild amount of swelling and bruising. It is mostly resolved within a few days to a week. All sutures are removed in 6-7 days. Results will be noticeable right after surgery, but may take several weeks for the final result to be apparent.