Sagging eyebrows are the result of many factors, including the aging process and gravity. Our eyebrows and eyelids start to move down because the muscle that keeps them in their proper position gets strained. Certain medical problems can be related to or clinically confused with droopy brows, such as ptosis of the upper eyelid. Medical conditions that could lead to ptosis include tumors and stroke.
Having droopy eyebrows can make us look older, which can negatively impact our self-esteem. Sagging brows can also give others the impression that we’re either angry or distressed, even if we don’t feel that way. Lastly, it may be difficult and unsafe to drive with droopy eyebrows, as they can obstruct our vision.
What is a Brow Lift?
If you suffer from low, droopy eyebrows or brow asymmetry, then you may want to undergo brow lift surgery. A brow lift is a cosmetic procedure that a surgeon performs to elevate a patient’s eyebrows. It elevates the soft tissue of the forehead and brow to enhance the forehead, brow, and eye area’s appearance. This leads to a rejuvenated appearance and helps get rid of deep furrows on the upper one-third of the face.
Patients can undergo this surgical procedure in a hospital or in an outpatient facility, such as a plastic surgery clinic. Surgeons will administer general anesthesia on you before the procedure, which will render you unconscious. The procedure typically lasts about one to two hours.
What are the Risks that Come with a Forehead Lift?
Just like other cosmetic procedures, a brow and forehead lift presents different risks. These may include the following:
- Scarring – Scarring may appear on your skin after undergoing the procedure.
- Changes in skin sensation – A brow and forehead lift could lead to temporary or permanent forehead or upper scalp numbness.
- Brow asymmetry – This particular risk occurs when one or both eyebrows appear too high. Brow asymmetry may gradually disappear during the healing process. However, you might need additional surgery to treat recurring issues in brow shape and position.
- Hair problems – Undergoing brow and forehead lift surgery can result in a raised hairline or hair loss at the incision site. You can treat the latter through scar excision or hair grafting if it doesn’t heal on its own.
- Other risks – These include bleeding, infection, and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
What are the Types of Brow Lift Surgery?
Depending on the results that you want to achieve, brow and forehead lift methods may differ in nature. Plastic surgeons can raise your forehead and eyebrows using any of these approaches:
Classic Brow Lift
Traditional brow lifting requires the surgeon to make one continuous incision that starts at the ear level and goes up around your hairline. Then, they will raise your forehead into its new position. This allows the scalp in front of the incision to cover the scalp behind it. Once your forehead has been elevated into place, the surgeon will remove the overlapping scalp and sew the remaining scalp together.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
In a typical endoscopic brow lift procedure, a surgeon will have to create several shorter incisions in your scalp. They will then look at the muscles and tissues under a particular incision by putting an endoscope through the area. An endoscope is a small camera that attaches to the end of a long, narrow tube.
After inserting the endoscope throughout one of your incisions, the surgeon will utilize another instrument that they’ve placed through another incision to raise your forehead tissues. They will then use sutures, tiny screws, or a different approach to secure those tissues in place. Finally, the surgeon will close your incisions with stitches or tiny clips.
How Can You Prepare for a Brow Lift Procedure?
Should you decide to undergo brow and forehead lift surgery, you’ll need to consult a facial plastic surgeon first regarding the procedure. They will probably carry out the following steps during your initial consultation:
Review your medical history
You should be ready to answer questions regarding your current and previous medical problems. You’ll also need to tell the surgeon about any medications you’ve taken recently, your previous surgeries, and if you have an allergy to any type of medication.
Perform a physical examination
The surgeon will assess the whole area of your forehead, which includes your upper eyelids, during the consultation. Various parts of your face will also be examined and measured. You may even be asked to do a set of facial expressions for the surgeon to find out exactly how they can help you.
Talk about your expectations for the surgery
You’ll need to explain your reasons for undergoing brow lift surgery and your expectations for your overall appearance afterwards.
You may also have to take the following precautions before the procedure:
- Stop smoking – If you’re a smoker, you’ll be advised to stop smoking before surgery and during the recovery period.
- Refrain from taking specific medications – This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements. These types of medication can increase the risk of bleeding.
- Arrange for help during recovery – You’ll need someone who can drive you home from the hospital or clinic and remain at home with you for at least the first night of your recovery.
What is the Typical Recovery Period for a Brow Lift?
Generally, most patients can return to work or school after 10 days following a brow lift. But this will depend on the approach used for the brow lift, as well as the patients’ personal recovery rate. Usual recovery landmarks range from walking around the house to slowly resuming regular exercise routines at 2-4 weeks following surgery.
After the procedure, the surgeon will give you specific aftercare instructions for your incisions. You’ll also have to do the following in the first few days after surgery:
- Rest with a raised head and take the recommended pain medication.
- Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling in the area.
- Don’t subject your incisions to excessive pressure or movement.
Achieving appealing and natural results through a brow lift will require the expertise of a board-certified plastic surgeon—one who has an extensive understanding of facial anatomy and a keen eye for aesthetic detail. Thus, you have to make sure that your surgeon is competent and can be trusted to perform high-risk procedures, such as a brow lift, on you.