Brow lift or forehead lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to rejuvenate the forehead. This surgical procedure minimizes the creases across the forehead, drooping eyebrows or wrinkles that occur high on the bridge of the nose, thus creating a more alert and youthful appearance. There are several techniques for brow lift:
Coronal brow lift:
Incisions made within the scalp area from one ear to another, lifting the forehead skin and removing the excess scalp tissues.
Endoscopic brow lift:
Several small incisions made within the hair bearing area to allow endoscope (surgical video device) for repositioning, removing or correcting tissues or muscles beneath the forehead skin that form visible creases and furrows.
Small incisions made at the hair bearing area of temples to reposition deeper tissues and remove excess scalp tissues. Thus, providing lift to the lateral portion of eyebrow and periorbital region.
Facial rejuvenation procedures that are commonly performed in combination with brow lift include:
- Blepharoplasty (to rejuvenate aging periorbital region)
- Facelift (to rejuvenate the mid face, jaw line and neck)
- Fat grafting (to augment soft tissues in the face and periorbital region)
- Laser skin resurfacing or chemical peel (to improve the skin texture and tone)
Ideal candidates for brow lift
- Patient who has a positive outlook and realistic expectations in mind for the improvement of appearance
- Physically healthy
Preoperative evaluation for brow lift
Communication is vital in order to achieve the patient’s goals. During the initial consultation, patients will have the opportunity to discuss their goals and desirable results with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will work closely with the patients to reach an agreement about the expectations from the surgical procedures involved and their long term benefits. Every patient is different, therefore a specific treatment regimen is planned to suit an individual’s need.
The preoperative assessment for brow lift may involve:
- Discussion about patients’ expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical or surgical treatment
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Examination of the face and its soft tissues
- Discuss the options available for brow lift and facial rejuvenation
- Preoperative evaluation for types of anaesthesia
- Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation
Preparation for brow lift
- Preoperative medical evaluation including blood investigations
- Avoid certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking or alcohol for about 2-3 weeks prior to the scheduled surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding and bruises
The risks and safety information on brow lift
It is important for patients to understand that every surgical procedure has its own complications and down time. However, if a patient is assessed properly before the surgery and postoperative care is given adequately, these risks can be eliminated or reduced. The risks involved in brow lift may vary depending upon the nature of the surgical procedure.
Some of the risks of brow lift include:
- Wound infection
- Poor wound healing (higher risks in chronic smokers)
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Anaesthesia risks
- Hair loss at the incisions
- Facial nerve injury
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation
- Skin contour irregularities
- Skin discoloration, sensitivity or swelling
- Possibility of revision surgery
After the surgery, compressive dressing may be applied to the forehead to minimize swelling and bruising. If tubes are inserted to drain out fluid or blood from the operative field, they will be removed on first or second day after the surgery. During the first 1-2 weeks, patient may experience swelling, numbness, discomfort, bruises and discoloration around the forehead and periorbital regions. During the healing phase, patient may also experience itchiness on the forehead or scalp for a period of time. These symptoms mentioned are usually transient and will disappear with time. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain respectively. The stitches will be removed 7-10 days after the surgery.
- Follow the postoperative instructions given carefully
- Head elevation especially when sleeping for 1-2 weeks
- Take the prescribed medications as instructed
- Compressive bandage or garment over the forehead may be used for 3-5 days
- Ice compression on the forehead for 3-5 days
- Regular wound cleaning with antiseptic solution and antibiotic ointment
- Allow gentle hair washing from second day post surgery
- Avoid strenuous physical activities for 3-4 weeks
- Make up to cover the bruises and discoloration may be allowed from third day post surgery
- Regular use of sunblock for 3-6 months after the surgery
How much will a brow lift surgery cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. The cost for brow lift can vary widely. Cost may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests (blood investigations)
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garment (forehead compressive garment)
Brow lift surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure. Therefore, most of the health insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgeries or their complications.