The shape and size of your eyebrows can have a big impact on your appearance. Eyebrows are one of the most expressive facial features, but they tend to droop with age. This can cause your upper eyelids to sag as well, which may make you look tired.
Many people experience drooping eyebrows as they age, so a brow lift is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries. Thousands are performed each year on people of all ages, but the procedure is most common for people between the ages of 19 and 50.
If you’re unhappy with your eyebrows, you may be considering a brow lift to make your face look younger and fresher. Before you decide to have the surgery, you should understand how a brow lift works, what it can accomplish, and what your experience will be like during and after the procedure.
Goals of a Brow Lift
A brow lift can reduce horizontal wrinkles in the forehead, the bridge of the nose, or between the eyes. It also can reduce frown lines, which are the vertical wrinkles that form between the eyebrows. The surgery will lift up sagging brows that make the face look tired and aged, which will also lift the upper eyelids.
Your surgeon will accomplish this by adjusting the muscle and tissue in your forehead. After the surgery, your muscles will pull your eyebrows up, so they’ll have a higher arch and won’t droop down over your eyes. Brow lifts are often combined with eyelid lifts to enhance the eyes as well as the eyebrows.
Candidates for Brow Lift
To get a brow lift, you should be in good overall health. You shouldn’t have any medical conditions that could affect your surgery or recovery by causing excess bleeding or other complications. During your consultation, you and your doctor will go over your medical history and your current medications.
Brow lift candidates should be nonsmokers or should be able to stop smoking several weeks before the procedure. Smoking can slow down your body’s healing process and increase your risk of complications during and after the surgery.
You also should have realistic goals and expectations for the procedure. Ideal candidates for a brow lift want to improve their appearance to boost their confidence, but they understand that the surgery won’t be life-changing. When you discuss your hopes for the procedure during your consultation, your doctor will make sure that you have reasonable goals and that you’re mentally ready to undergo the surgery.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Before the procedure, your doctor may need you to get lab testing or a medical evaluation. You also may have to take or avoid certain medications in the days leading up to your brow lift.
Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for the surgery and what you should expect once you get to the hospital or surgical center. You should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for the first day or two after the surgery to help you out.
To begin the brow lift, your surgeon will either administer general anesthesia or IV sedation. Then, they’ll make incisions in the skin of your forehead to reach the underlying muscle and tissues. There are a few types of brow lift techniques that your doctor will choose from depending on your goals for the surgery.
If you get an endoscopic brow lift, your surgeon will make several small incisions along your scalp or on your forehead. Then, they’ll insert a thin tube with a camera into the incisions, which will help them see the muscle and tissue while they adjust it.
Another option is a coronal incision, which is an ear-to-ear incision that goes across your scalp. This technique allows your surgeon to directly see the muscle and tissue in your forehead. Because the incision is made across your scalp, the scar will be hidden by your hair.
Another option is a temporal brow lift, which involves making incisions around your temples. This is an effective method for targeting the ends of your eyebrows, but it’s not often used for patients who want to lift up the entire brow.
After your doctor makes all the adjustments, they will close the incisions with removable or absorbable sutures or clips. The surgery usually takes one or two hours, and most people can go home the same day. Results should be visible immediately after the procedure, but there will be some swelling and bruising.
What to Expect During Recovery
After your brow lift, your forehead may be taped or wrapped up to help with the swelling and bruising. Your surgeon may place a tube in the surgical site to drain blood and fluid, and they’ll give you instructions for how to take care of it. Your doctor will also tell you how to keep the surgical site clean, what medications to take and when, and how long you should wait until returning to your normal daily activities.
You’ll have to keep your head elevated to help with swelling while your face heals. You should also avoid physical activity until your surgeon approves of it. Unless your doctor tells you to, don’t apply ice or heat to your forehead.
It usually takes one to two weeks for the incisions to heal. At this point, you should be ready to return to work. However, if your job is physically demanding, your doctor may recommend taking some more time off. Most of the swelling and bruising should go away within two weeks, but it may take several months for your final results to be visible.
The final results of a brow lift typically last for years, but the long-term results can vary depending on how your body ages and how you take care of your health. To get the most out of your brow lift, you should avoid sun exposure, tobacco, and other factors that make you age faster.
Dr. Andres Bustillo is certified by the Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as the Board of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. He completed a prestigious fellowship with the New York University-Weill Cornell Medical College Fellowship Program. He has years of experience performing various cosmetic procedures including brow lifts in Miami. He also has published numerous articles about facial plastic surgery. You can learn more about Dr. Bustillo here: https://www.drbustillo.com