Signs of ageing begin to appear in the brow and areas around the eyes often before other parts of the face are affected. A brow lift or forehead lift can help restore the fresh and youthful appearance by lifting the eyebrows and reducing “hooding” over the eyes.
Anyone whose brow area has sagged, who has frown lines, lines on the forehead or droopy eyebrows can benefit from a brow lift.
Brow lift surgery is often combined with other cosmetic enhancement procedures, such as eyelid surgery and facelifts.
What brow lift surgery can do for you
A brow lift refreshes the face, giving it a more youthful appearance. It can erase signs of early ageing caused by the combined effects of sun exposure, gravity and stress. A brow lift may also help reposition your expression lines.
When the skin on the forehead loses its elasticity, it tends to sag. Sagging causes lines and wrinkles on the forehead, between the brows and also droopy eyebrows.
Wrinkles and frown lines—the creases that appear between your eyebrows—can appear across the forehead, splitting the forehead into vertical bands. These wrinkles and frown lines can alter your appearance, giving you a permanent angry, tired or sad expression.
What brow lift surgery can’t do
Brow lift surgery does not remove the fine lines and wrinkles (crow’s feet) from the corners of your eyes. Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated effectively by other surgical options or a range of non-surgical treatments. Although brow lift surgery may improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, people who have a large amount excess skin in the eyelids may want to consider upper eyelid blepharoplasty which can be done at the same time. For people who have bags under the eyes, a lower eyelid blepharoplasty.
Are you a candidate for a brow lift?
Brow lift surgery is performed on adult men and women with realistic goals and expectations for improving their forehead and brow areas. It is essential to have healthy facial tissue and no life-threatening conditions or serious eye conditions at the time of surgery.
For your own safety, inform Dr Marcells at your initial consultation if you have any medical conditions, such as disorders of the thyroid, circulatory disorders like heart disease, or high blood pressure. Also inform him if you have diabetes.
How the procedure is performed
A brow lift can be achieved in a number of ways. The exact technique suitable for you needs to be discussed and agreed upon with your facial plastic surgeon.
Endo coronal brow lift, hairline brow lift and endoscopic brow lift are some of the techniques Dr Marcells uses when performing a brow lift procedure.
- An endo-coronal brow lift is not to be confused with a coronal brow lift, the endo-coronal brow lift uses a smaller incision slightly behind the hairline. The forehead is lifted to the new position and overlapping skin on the scalp is removed, firming up the forehead area. The endo-coronal brow lift is best suited for people with a low highline.
- A hairline brow lift, or trichophytic brow lift is a modification of the coronal lift. A wavy incision is made slightly behind the hairline to allow the hair to naturally grows back through the incision location leaving no visible scar. The excess skin is removed from the forehead and does not result in raising the hairline, which remains in the original position. The hairline brow lift is suitable for people with a high hairline, and may also be ideal for those who wear a fringe.
- An endoscopic brow lift gets its name from the endoscope, where a tiny camera can be inserted through the incisions. The images from the camera can be viewed on a screen when tissues and muscles are operated on using other tiny instruments inserted through the incisions. During an endoscopic lift, four to six small incisions are made behind the hairline. The brow and forehead are shifted upward and secured at a higher position. Endoscopic procedures have the smallest incisions of all the techniques.
Dr Marcells will explain each technique, its advantages and disadvantages and help you decide on the technique best suited for your needs. For more details, please read our blog post Which Brow Lift Suits You Best?.
The type of anaesthesia used will depend on the technique.
A brow lift can typically be completed within one to two hours, depending on the technique. If your brow lift is combined with another procedure the surgery may take longer.
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Preparing for your brow lift
The preparation process for a brow lift will involve an initial consultation where Dr Marcells will listen your concerns and recommend the most appropriate brow lift technique for you.
Dr Marcells will give you a set of instructions on how to prepare for your brow lift surgery. Follow those instructions closely. If you have any questions or need any clarifications about the instructions given to you, we will be glad to help.
Among other things, giving up smoking well ahead of the surgery date will help make your recovery fast and uneventful.
You will be told to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and certain other medications. Following these instructions and avoiding herbal supplements helps control the risk of excessive bleeding.
After the surgery
The stitches used to close the incisions will be covered with a soft sterile bandage. You will be told how to care for and replace the bandage.
Brow lift surgery is usually performed as an outpatient day procedure. You will need someone to drive you home after the surgery.
The recovery period depends on the exact technique used for your brow lift. Stiches will be removed about a week after the procedure for an endo-coronal procedures.
For the hairline brow lift Dr Marcells uses comprehensive recovery steps designed to maximise healing and reduce any sign of surgery.
Expect some swelling and bruising, not just in the forehead area, but sometimes in other parts of the face as well. The cheeks and eyes are the most often affected. Although the swelling may not fully subside for several weeks, it usually goes down enough within two weeks for you to feel comfortable to go out in public. There may also be some itching, numbness and tingling, especially in those who have undergone coronal brow lifts. These sensations will eventually disappear.
Most patients go back to their normal routines within two weeks after a brow lift.
During your recovery, following the post-operative instructions given to you by Dr Marcells is extremely important and will reduce the risk of complications. If anything appears out of line, or unexpected—such as excessive swelling, bleeding or a fever—call us immediately.
Your instructions will include contact numbers to use in an emergency. Do not hesitate to use those numbers. A mind at rest is important for uneventful and speedy healing. If a call can put your mind at rest, go ahead and make that call.
Now it’s your call
Brow lifts are most in demand among men and women in their 30s to 60s age group who are concerned about looking tired and older than they feel.
A brow lift, regardless of the technique used, is elective cosmetic surgery and is not typically covered by Medicare Australia or by private health insurance companies.
For more information
Which Brow Lift Suits You Best? provides more details on the pros and cons of different brow lift techniques.
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Meet Dr Marcells
MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons
Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.