Methods for Brow Lifts
Many people looking for a more youthful appearance will opt to have what is called a forehead or brow lift. This procedure lifts the sagging in the skin of the forehead, upper eyelids and eyebrows. There are two methods used to lift the skin of the forehead and eye areas. If you’re considering a brow lift, read on to learn about types, what an ideal candidate is, and potential risks.
The Classic Lift
With a classic forehead lift, there is a continuous cut made from where your ear begins and around your hairline. The surgeon will do their best to avoid a visible scar. Your head will not be shaved, but hair that is growing directly in front of the incision line may need to be trimmed. What is called a coronal incision is then made and will follow a headphone-like pattern, starting at about ear level and running across the top of the forehead and down the other side of the head. If your hairline is high or receding, the incision may be placed just at the hairline, to avoid adding even more height to the forehead. For patients who are bald or losing hair, a mid-scalp incision that follows the natural pattern of the skull bones is sometimes recommended. By wearing your hair down on your forehead, most such scars become relatively inconspicuous.
Working through the incision, the skin on the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue and the muscles of the forehead can be altered or released. The eyebrows may also be elevated and excess skin at the incision point will be trimmed away to help create a smoother, more youthful appearance. The incision is then closed with stitches or clips.
The Endoscopic Lift
An endoscopic forehead lift requires the same preparation as the traditional procedure. However, rather than making one long coronal incision, your surgeon will make three to five short scalp incisions. Each incision will be less than an inch in length. An endoscope, which is a pencil-like camera device connected to a television monitor, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. Using another instrument inserted through a different incision, the forehead skin is lifted, and the muscles and underlying tissues are altered to produce a smoother appearance. The eyebrows may also be lifted and secured into their higher position by sutures beneath the skin’s surface or by temporary fixation screws placed behind the hairline. When the lift is complete, the scalp incisions will be closed with stitches or clips and the area will be washed.
What to Expect
Your recovery time will vary depending on which lift you choose. In both procedures, you will have stitches or staples that must be removed usually after one week. If your surgeon uses temporary fixation screws to hold the elevated brow in place, those are typically removed after two weeks.
You can expect to have swelling and bruising especially around the cheeks and eyes, but this should also dissipate after a week. We advise keeping your head elevated for at least the first two days after surgery to help control the swelling. Depending on which procedure you have, most people return to work and normal activities after about 10 days. It is advised that you avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for the first few weeks post-surgery.
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