Procedures/ Forehead Lift

Forehead Lift

Procedures 6 min read

 

Forehead Lift

Do you have loose, sagging skin of the forehead, eyebrows, or upper eyelids? Have fine lines and wrinkles developed in the forehead area and between your eyes? A cosmetic surgery procedure called a forehead lift or brow lift can correct these problems and help restore a more youthful appearance, giving you increased self confidence. Keep reading to learn everything about a forehead lift, including why it is performed, what the surgery entails, and how long the recovery takes.

What is a forehead lift?

A forehead lift, also called a brow lift, is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. It is performed to improve the signs of aging in the upper third of the face, which includes issues like hooding of the eyelids, drooping of the eyebrows, and formation of furrows and frown lines in the forehead and between the eyes.

A facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon or cosmetic surgeon can perform a forehead lift as a standalone procedure or combine it with other procedures like a face lift surgery, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) in people who are looking for more complete facial rejuvenation.

A forehead lift is usually done on an outpatient basis in a hospital or outpatient surgical facility, meaning you can go home on the same day and will not need to stay overnight in the hospital.

Why is a forehead lift performed?

People in their 40s, 50s, and 60s start to notice signs of aging in the forehead and brow region and they can choose to undergo a forehead lift or browlift to correct or improve these issues. Sometimes, the procedure is done in younger individuals who have hereditary low eyebrows, giving their face a sad appearance. At times, there is a medical indication for the procedure because the low eyebrow position blocks the upper field of vision.

You are a good candidate for a forehead or browlift if you have:

  • Wrinkles, fine lines, and frown lines on the forehead and around the brows
  • Furrows in the glabellar region (between the eyebrows)
  • Sagging or drooping eyebrows
  • Hanging tissue on the outer upper eyelid

How to prepare for a forehead lift?

Consultation

Before you are scheduled for a forehead lift or browlift, your plastic and reconstructive surgery provider will see you in consultation. At this time, they will obtain health information and perform a careful physical examination as well as a psychological assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for such procedures. It is a good idea to bring a friend or family member to the consultation. You will have a chance to ask any question that's on your mind. If you are deemed to be a good candidate for a forehead lift, you'll be given pre- and postoperative instructions.

Preparation

In preparation for a forehead lift or browlift, your plastic surgeon may ask you to stop taking certain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners which can increase the risk of bleeding. You will receive instructions about holding or taking your other regular medications on the day of the surgery. You should let your surgeon know if you develop a cold, flu, or herpes breakout in the days leading up to the procedure.

On the day of the forehead lift or brow lifting, you may be advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. You'll also get additional instructions as necessary and should follow them carefully.

How is a forehead lift done?

Anesthesia

A forehead lift or browlift is usually done under local anesthesia with sedation (your surgeon will give you a medication to relax you and reduce anxiety). It can also be done under general anesthesia, in which case you'll be asleep during the surgery.

Surgical site preparation

To perform brow lifts, the surgeon needs to hold the hair away from the surgery area on the forehead. Some hair may need to be trimmed, but the surgery does not require large sections of the scalp skin to be shaved.

Incisions

The surgeon will make an incision at ear level and continue it across the top of the forehead at the hairline. In people who are bald or balding, the incision can be made across the top of the scalp so that the scar is less visible.

Procedure details

The surgeon will remove excess skin and manipulate the tissues and muscles to correct the signs of aging. The entire process can take up to two hours. At the end of the surgery, the incisions are closed with stitches or skin staples and a dressing is applied.

Aftercare and Recovery

After your forehead lift or browlift, the surgical site will be wrapped with a sterile bandage for protection, which will stay in place for a couple of days. The stitches will come out in the office in 10-14 days in two stages. You will experience some temporary discomfort and numbness in the area, which can be controlled with oral pain medication and cold compresses.

Your doctor will give you information about post-surgical care. This will include keeping your head elevated for 2-3 days after the forehead lift to prevent swelling during the healing process. The temporary bruising and swelling after the surgery usually start to disappear in a few days.

During the recovery period, you may experience some itching or tingling in the forehead area. This occurs because nerves that get damaged during the operation are re-growing. It can take up to 6 months for these sensations to disappear completely.

Downtime

You should plan to take 7-10 days off work as recovery time. You will be able to walk around at home, however. You can shower and shampoo after 2 days when the bandages are removed. Your surgeon will recommend avoiding strenuous activity, including housework, sex, and exercise, for several weeks. You'll need to avoid contact sports for 6-8 weeks and limit sun and heat exposure for a few months while your forehead and brows heal fully.

Some patients notice slightly thinner hair in the operated area for a few weeks to months, but it starts growing normally after that.

Complete recovery time from a forehead lift takes 2-3 months for most patients. During this time, you can wear makeup to conceal any swelling and bruising and style your hair over the forehead to hide the scar if it's visible. If you have very short hair, you might want to grow it out before the surgery to hide the scar while it heals.

How long does a forehead lift last?

The results of a forehead or eyebrow lift are permanent. However, over time, the signs of aging can reappear with a need for re-lifting. Most patients, however, have good results from this plastic surgery for at least 10-12 years.

What is the difference between an endoscopic brow lift and a forehead lift?

A brow lift and forehead lift is the same plastic surgery. An endoscopic lift is a method of brow lift in which the surgeon makes several small incisions and uses an instrument called an endoscope which has a camera in it. A dissolvable implant is left in place to hold the tissues up while they heal.

Does the surgery leave a visible scar?

In most people, the surgeon is able to place the incision under the hairline so that the scar is not easily visible. In some individuals with a high or receding hairline, a thin scar may be visible after a forehead lift surgery. The hair can usually be styled in a way to cover the forehead if this is the case. If you have further questions about the scar, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon during your initial consultation.

It is important to choose a board certified surgeon with experience in this type of surgery because pulling the forehead skin too tight can cause swelling, which can lead to the formation of a wide scar, with hair loss along the edges of the scar. It may be possible to improve the appearance of such a scar by surgically removing tissues. It is very rare for a person to suffer permanent hair loss after a forehead lift.

What are the risks?

In the hands of an experienced board certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon, a brow lift is a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. However, like any surgery, it does carry the risks of anesthesia, including bleeding, formation blood clots, infection, breathing problems, and reaction to medicines.

Other potential complications of a forehead or brow lift are hematoma formation (a collection of blood under the skin) which may need to be drained surgically. The procedure can also result in temporary, or rarely permanent, damage to the nerves that control the facial muscles. Wound healing problems, continuing pain, and numbness or changes in skin sensation are some of the other risks of a brow lift surgery.

Very rarely, a forehead lift can cause wrinkling in the forehead or make it difficult for patients to raise the eyebrows on one or both sides. In such cases, additional surgery may be needed to match both sides. A forehead lift is not recommended in people who have had surgery on their upper eyelid because it can affect the ability to close the eyelid.

How much does a forehead lift cost?

The average cost of a forehead lift is $3,500, but this can vary based on your geographical location and other factors such as the experience level of your facial plastic surgeon.

Finding a surgeon for a forehead lift

The MeTime app makes it easy to find a board certified plastic surgeon or other experienced aesthetic provider in your area. You can click and upload pictures and have suggestions sent directly to you. Interested in finding out if a forehead lift could improve your appearance? Try the MeTime app now!

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