Updated September 24, 2020
Forehead Lift – Fort Worth, Texas
A brow lift, or forehead lift, smooths out wrinkles that arise across the forehead over time and improves the position of the eyebrow to a more youthful appearance.
Reasons to undergo a forehead lift include signs of facial aging, such as deepened forehead creases, eyelid hooding, drooping eyebrows and frown lines above the nose and in the crow’s feet area. The procedure involves removing excess tissue and redraping the skin to smooth the forehead, lift the upper eyelids and minimize frown lines. This procedure can be performed endoscopically, using a camera and small incisions that are hidden within the hairline.
This procedure is often performed in combination with other procedures to rejuvenate the entire face.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Brow lifts are typically performed under general anesthesia for optimal comfort. It can also be done using intravenous sedation that gives you medicine through an IV in your arm that makes you drowsy. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kirby will discuss these options with you so that the best choice can be made.
How long is brow lift surgery?
The operating time will vary depending on you and your specific procedure, and whether any additional procedures are performed. Generally, the operating time is approximately 1-2 hours. If a brow lift is the only procedure performed, you can typically return home on the same day, after your surgery.
Where will my incisions be?
There are several techniques for performing brow lift surgery. A common method is to use an endoscope (a surgical video device) and special instruments placed through small incisions made within the hairline. The tissue and muscle beneath the skin can be repositioned, altered or removed, using this approach, thus correcting visible creases and furrows in the forehead.
Incisions in the temples and scalp can also be made to correct a low or sagging brow line. This approach may or may not utilize the endoscope. Incisions hidden within the natural upper eyelid crease may also be used to eliminate the frown lines between the eyebrows or at the bridge of the nose.
Incisions can also be placed just in front of the hairline in order to shorten a long forehead. Through this approach, the forehead and frown lines between the eyebrows can be eliminated.
Another technique is called the coronal brow lift. The coronal brow lift can pinpoint specific regions of the brow to correct.
This technique involves an incision across the top of the head that allows lifting of the forehead and removal of excess skin from the scalp. Recovery time is longer than the endoscopic brow lift due to the size of the incision. This technique is not used as often as other approaches.
Incision lines from a brow lift are typically well hidden within the hair or the natural contours of the face unless they are placed in front of the hairline to shorten the forehead.
What are the risks?
The decision to have a brow lift is personal and you will need to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable to you. Dr. Kirby will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications. Possible risks may include, but are not limited to, unfavorable scarring, hematoma, infection, poor wound healing, numbness that may be permanent, anesthesia risks, blood clots, hair loss along scars, elevated hairline, facial nerve injury, asymmetry, skin loss, dry eyes, pain, skin contour irregularities, and possible need for revisional surgery. You may have temporary headaches after surgery. Swelling and bruising are expected to last 2-3 weeks. Itching is also common after brow lift surgery. Numbness and itching in the forehead and scalp region may be prolonged.
How do I prepare for brow lift surgery?
Prior to any procedure, it is necessary to review medications you are taking that may affect your surgery. You may be asked to stop or adjust some medications you are on. As always, it is important to include supplements on your list of medications. Aspirin and aspirin products (Alka-Seltzer, Carisoprodol, Excedrin, Goody’s, Midol), anti-inflammatory medications (except acetaminophen, or Tylenol), and herbal supplements must be avoided for 10 days prior to your surgery. For more details about which medications and supplements to avoid, click here. Dr. Kirby will discuss your medications with you.
Depending on your medical condition, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical checkup prior to your surgery.
Tobacco products impair your body’s ability to heal. You will be asked to stop smoking for 6 weeks prior to any surgery. Tobacco step-down products such as chewing gum and Nicoderm continue to provide your body with tobacco and must be stopped as well. Please ask Dr. Kirby if you will need assistance with quitting.
Be sure to arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from your surgery. You will need someone to stay with you the night following your surgery as well.
You will receive specific instructions for your surgery day from Dr. Kirby’s office.
What is my recovery from surgery like?
Following Dr. Kirby’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that your incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Dr. Kirby will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Results appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal smoother forehead skin and a more youthful, restful appearance.
A light dressing is applied after the procedure to give gentle compression to the operated areas. Ice packs may also be applied to help reduce bruising and swelling. There is usually a moderate amount of swelling and bruising after a brow lift. You may experience swelling of the upper eyelids. You may shower once the dressing is removed, usually within 48 hours after surgery. Initial discomfort is controlled with oral pain medication. The stitches or staples are usually removed in 10-14 days.
You can expect to return to work within 7-10 days and resume strenuous activities within a few weeks. Sun exposure (even with sunscreen) should be limited for several months.