Brow Lift Procedure
John Bull, MD, FACS, performs brow lift procedures from his Naperville offices. In the paragraphs below, he explains the brow lift procedure and who are the best candidates for brow lift.
A forehead lift or “browlift” is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad, or tired. In a forehead lift, the muscles, and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows, and minimize frown lines. Dr. Bull may use the conventional surgical method, in which the incision is hidden just behind the hairline; or it may be performed through an endoscopic procedure creating tiny incisions in the hair.
The Best Candidates for a Forehead Lift
A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40 to 60 age range to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure.
The Procedure for a Forehead Lift
Before the operation begins, your hair will be tied with rubber bands on either side of the incision line. Your head will not be shaved. For most patients, a coronal incision will be used. It follows 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. The incision is usually made well behind the hairline so that the scar will not be visible. 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. In 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.Special planning is sometimes necessary for concealing the scar in male patients, who hairstyles often do not lend themselves as well to incision coverage.
Working through the incision, the skin of the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue can be removed 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 closed with stitches or clips. Your face and hair will be washed to prevent irritation and the rubber bands will be removed from your hair. Dr. Bull covers the incision with gauze padding and wraps the head in an elastic bandage.
After Your Forehead Lift Surgery
Some Chicago forehead lift patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which is controlled with prescription medication. You may be told to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to keep the swelling down. The swelling should begin to disappear in a week or so.
As the nerves heal, numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to resolve. If bandages were used, they will be removed a day or two after surgery. Most stitches or clips are removed within two weeks, sometimes in two stages.
Some of your hair around the incision may fall out and may temporarily be a bit thinner. Normal growth will usually resume within a few weeks or months. Permanent hair loss is rare.
Getting Back To Normal After a Forehead Lift
Although you should be up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days, or as soon as the bandage is removed.
Most brow lift patients are back to work in one to two weeks. Vigorous physical activity should be limited for three or four weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.
Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within three to four weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with special camouflage makeup. You may feel a bit tired and let down at first, but your energy level will increase as you begin to look and feel better.