A smoother forehead, less droopy eyelids, less furrowed brows – these are some of the things that can be accomplished with a forehead lift, or brow lift. Our board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder IV at the Breast and Body Center of Austin uses brow lift surgery to remove wrinkles in the forehead, to lift sagging eyebrows, and to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids. We can combine a brow lift with another procedure in appropriate cases for even more dramatic results.
The brow lift is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. This procedure addresses drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad, or tired. Dr. Snyder will help you decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals: the classic or “open” method, or the endoscopic brow lift.
Sagging eyebrows and upper lids may make you look angry, tired or worried. Brow lift surgery elevates and smoothens the eyebrows and upper lids, reducing the vertical and horizontal lines and wrinkles of the forehead. During this procedure, Dr. Snyder will elevate the brow through incisions in the scalp. Various techniques to elevate the brow are used based on your facial anatomy. A brow lift is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. It can last between 1 – 2 hours. The incision techniques used during a brow lift procedure depend on the severity of sagging, the skin condition and the hairline location. There are classic incisions, which may be located on the upper eyelid, or a coronal incision, which runs from ear to ear underneath the patient’s hair. A less invasive treatment is also possible with an endoscopic brow lift.
The eyebrow incision surgical technique places the incision along the natural upper eyelid crease or the brow’s hairline. The focus is to trim away excess skin and tighten the remaining skin and underlying tissues to create a rejuvenated facial appearance. The weak tissues will be reattached to the brow bone by sutures or attached with temporary tiny hooks placed internally where the muscles will cling and heal into a new position. This treatment doesn’t simultaneously resolve any issues of wrinkles on the upper forehead.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
Although there’s no universal opinion on the better brow lift method, many surgeons do offer endoscopic brow lifts to their patients. Because endoscopic procedures need smaller incisions, there is often less scarring and a shorter recovery period. The use of an endoscope gives way to a less invasive treatment. During an endoscopy procedure, several small incisions, no longer than an inch, are made close to the hairline. A tiny camera at the end of a thin tube will be inserted to allow Dr. Snyder to operate via a monitor. Other tubes are inserted that will perform the necessary surgical steps to correct the cosmetic problem. Sutures are placed underneath the skin to help lessen the scars. The healing from this technique is quicker compared to the classic brow lifts.
Coronal Brow Lift
An incision that hides the scar within the hair area is the coronal brow lift. The cut is made from one ear to the other, running along a few inches above the patient’s hairline. The eyebrows are then repositioned to correct the tired, aging appearance by pulling the muscles up. With this technique, the hairline is also positioned higher. The results are typically subtle, just enough to stretch the droopy eyelids, but not lifted too severely, which would result in a shocked, wide-eyed look.
Patients are sent home after surgery and advised to limit movement for up to 2 days. There will be some bruising and swelling that may be present on other areas of the face, such as the cheeks. Patients will be able to go back to a normal routine within a week. Although you should be up and about in a day or 2, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days, or as soon as the bandage is removed. Most patients are back to work or school in a week to 10 days. Vigorous physical activity should be limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months. It is quite normal to feel as though your face is not symmetric, but within 3 – 6 months you will see the optimized results, and look and feel younger with a rejuvenated outcome.
Because you’ll have anesthesia during brow lift surgery, plan to have someone to take you home after your procedure and help you for a couple days. Once at home, sleep with your head elevated for a few days until some of the swelling goes down. Most of the swelling or bruising will subside in 2 – 3 weeks. Our patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication. If you are prone to headaches, this may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthetic during surgery as a preventive measure. Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade within about 3 weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with makeup approved by our team.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $3,800 - $5,200
- Recovery Time
- 1 – 3 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 – 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 7 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Brow Lift FAQs
Am I A Candidate?
Men and women with brows or foreheads that have wrinkles and sagging brows that lower the eyebrows and eyelids may want to consider a brow lift. A brow lift reduces frown lines and deep furrows on the forehead, although these lines usually never disappear completely. For best results, patients often combine a brow lift with a facelift, eyelid lift, laser skin resurfacing, or other procedure. During your initial consultation, be sure to talk with Dr. Snyder about how to achieve your desired results.
Is BOTOX A Better Option?
BOTOX is a nonsurgical cosmetic treatment that targets forehead wrinkles. While it does an exceptional job of smoothing out lines and wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes, it does not correct drooping of the skin folds around the eyes. Depending on the patient’s case, BOTOX is worth trying initially to see if this treatment satisfies the patient’s aesthetic goals. If BOTOX does little to the cosmetic issue, then a brow lift may be considered. Many patients benefit from a combination approach using surgery and BOTOX to attain the desired outcome.
Visible Scarring or pain?
If your hair is very short, you may wish to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars while they heal. Because the incisions are made in areas that can act as concealer, often in the hair or natural crease of the face, scarring is generally not obvious. Dr. Snyder will make sure that the incisions are carefully placed to minimize the effects of scarring. Most of the visible signs of surgery should within about 3 weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with makeup approved by the physician.
You may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication. If you are prone to headaches, it may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthetic during surgery as a preventive measure.
How Can I Prepare for Surgery?
At Breast and Body Center of Austin, we will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your brow lift surgery. Some general guidelines include:
- If you smoke, you will need to stop at least 2 – 3 weeks before your surgery.
- Please follow your general practitioner's directions regarding which medications and supplements you should stop taking before and immediately after surgery.
- If you have short hair, you may want to let your hair grow long enough to cover the incisions.
What are the risks?
Every type of surgery has risks, but you can usually help prevent complications by carefully following your physician’s instructions. Some risks specifically associated with brow lift include:
- Hair loss around the scars
- Large scars (rare)
- The inability to raise your eyebrows or furrow your brow
In nearly all cases, these problems improve with time. If necessary, we may recommend a minor revision surgery to correct any problems.
Because you’ll have anesthesia during brow lift surgery, plan to have someone to take you home after your procedure and help you for the next day or two. Once at home, sleep with your head elevated for a few days until some of the swelling goes down. Most of the swelling or bruising will subside in two to three weeks.You may experience temporary forehead numbness. You can usually control any pain or discomfort with medication your doctor will prescribe.