Improve Your Look With a Brow Lift
A Brow Lift (forehead lift) softens deep creases across the forehead, reduces frown lines between the eyebrows at the top of your nose and can elevate drooping eyebrows. Brow lifts can also reduce the heavy look or appearance of droopy skin between the eyebrows and the upper eyelids.
What is a brow lift?
Brow lifts are different than eyelid surgery, which addresses sagging in either the upper or lower eyelids or both. Brow lifts specifically target the brows and the forehead. The goal is to smooth forehead lines and to raise the brows, giving the person a younger, more alert appearance. To do this, Dr. Weiner repositions or adjusts the muscles above the eyes and across the forehead. He also releases the muscles that create the vertical lines between the eyebrows, commonly known as the 11s. Dr. Weiner will use different techniques depending on the individual patient’s situation.
Who is a good candidate for a brow lift?
Everyone has some degree of sagging across the brows and forehead; that’s just a reality of aging. Some people have a genetic disposition to sagging in this area. For some, sagging is extreme enough that it is impinging upon their field of vision. Most of our brow lift patients are between 45 and 60 years old.
There is a simple way that you can see if a brow lift could help with that perpetually tired countenance. Stand in front of a mirror and place the lower palms of each hand just above your eyebrows on each side of your head. Slightly pull those palms outward and upward and you’ll see how a brow lift will reposition your sagging skin and tissues.
Why do I have wrinkles on my forehead and between my brows?
Forehead lines are a combination of thousands and thousands of facial expressions, where muscles move our forehead tissues when we make various expressions. These are called dynamic wrinkles, as they are created by muscle contractions under the skin. These are the wrinkles that Botox targets by stopping the muscle responsible for creating the surface wrinkle from contracting. If you want to permanently remove these wrinkles, rather than needing Botox every 4 months, a brow lift will do this.
Brow lifts also reverse the natural slackening of the skin and support tissues on the forehead, which is the other reason wrinkles and lines are forming. You can blame it on gravity and the natural effects of aging.
As for the frown lines that form between your eyebrows, colloquially known as the 11s, these are also caused by muscle contractions under the skin. But sometimes the muscles that control this area simply become too tight. Dr. Weiner often releases these muscles to remove frown lines with a brow lift.
Can I combine a brow lift with another procedure?
For many of Dr. Weiner’s patients, eyelid surgery or a mid-facelift make perfect complementary procedures with a brow lift. The brow lift targets the upper third of the face, but it doesn’t address the eyelids or the skin beneath the eyes. For full upper face rejuvenation, it’s great to elevate your brows with a brow lift and take the sagging out of your eyelids with blepharoplasty. Rhinoplasty would be another complementary surgery.
How do I know if I need a brow lift or eyelid surgery, or both?
This depends wholly on where you’re dealing with sagging. If your brows have descended, giving you a perpetually tired, sad, or angry countenance, then a brow lift is what you want. This will also remove your frown lines and forehead lines.
But if your eyelids are the culprit, giving you a hooded appearance, then eyelid surgery is what you need.
Many patients combine both because it’s rare that a person has sagging and aging in only one of the two areas.
What are the different brow lift techniques used by Dr. Weiner?
Dr. Weiner has different options when it comes to these surgeries, and he tailors his brow lift technique to match your unique situation. For instance, a “temporal brow lift” targets more sagging on the outer half of the brow. A “central brow lift” moves the focus to drooping of the inner brows.
These are the two basic techniques for a brow lift, depending on your personal situation. If possible, Dr. Weiner looks to use endoscopic methods, as these create far less scarring and make for an easier recovery.
Endoscopic brow lift
Thanks to continuing improvements in technology, the endoscopic brow lift is becoming the method of choice for these surgeries. In this method, Dr. Weiner makes three to five short incisions within the hairline. An endoscope, a tiny instrument with a camera on the end, is inserted into one of the incisions. This provides excellent visuals of the area to be addressed without the need for the longer coronal incision. Tools are inserted into the other small incisions to manipulate the skin and muscles. As you would expect, there is very little scarring with this method.
Coronal brow lift
Until the development of the endoscope, this was really the only option for these procedures. This is also known as the “traditional” or “full” brow lift. It involves a single coronal (think of it as the shape of a pair of headphones) incision that runs from one ear, wraps up around the forehead, and terminates at the other ear. This incision is hidden within the hairline. The forehead skin is lifted away, and underlying muscles are trimmed and repositioned as appropriate. If necessary, the eyebrows may be lifted. The final step is to trim excess skin. Then the skin in re-draped and the incision is closed.
During your consultation with Dr. Weiner, the two of you will discuss which technique will enable the degree of correction necessary for your situation.
Is a brow lift painful?
Obviously, the surgery itself is painless. Recovery doesn’t involve acute pain, especially with the small incisions of an endoscopic lift. The real feelings involved are numbness that changes to itching as the tissues and nerves adapt. Still the facial nerves in the upper third of the face are not as sensitive as those around the mid and lower face, so pain is manageable during recovery.
How Is a Brow Lift Procedure Performed?
To perform a Brow Lift, Dr. Wiener of Chicago will use several small incisions behind the hairline and an endoscope will be used in a minimally invasive approach. The entire eyebrow can be lifted or shaped or just the tail of the brow can be lifted in a more limited type of Brow Lift. A limited lift to the tail, or the end of the brow, can also be done through an incision in the upper eyelid crease and is often combined with an Upper Eyelid Lift. Brow lift result is a more relaxed and refreshed appearance.
Typically, local anesthesia with light sedation or general anesthesia is used. These procedures are often combined with Eyelid Lifts or even a Mid-Face Lift for a complete rejuvenation of the upper face.
What can I expect for recovery after a brow lift?
Your recovery will be dictated by the method used for your brow lift. No matter the technique used there will be swelling and bruising, and this can migrate down into your cheeks and around your eyes. While unpleasant, this should run its course in a week to 10 days. For the first two or three days after your surgery, you’ll need to keep your head elevated, even while sleeping.
Traditional brow lifts involve more numbness and discomfort along the incision. Initial numbness will be replaced by itching that can last up to six months. Often, the hair near the incision will fall out or thin, but normal hair growth should return within weeks or a few months.
Endoscopic brow lifts will also involve some numbness due to tissue manipulation, but there is far less itching than with a traditional lift.
Most patients can return to work within 10 days, but heavy lifting and vigorous exercise will need to wait for around one month. You need to try and keep your blood pressure from elevating in the forehead area.
How long do the results of a brow lift last?
The changes made to elevate your brows and other areas of the forehead are permanent. But they can’t stop the ongoing effects of aging. The goal in a brow lift is to give permanent improvement to the transverse lines and frown lines of the forehead. Aspects of a brow lift will remain. For instance, forehead lines will never again be as severe. Your brows will continue to descend with time, but you’ll never have the same degree of sagging again. The average brow lift patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last from 10-12 years.