A brow lift, also know as a browplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that raises drooping eyebrows. Age and gravity can make the skin slack and eventually, the eyebrows begin to drop down into the upper eyelids. Dr. Matthew Bridges, a facial plastic surgeon serving the area around Richmond, VA, performs brow lifts for patients whose sagging eyebrows can make them look tired and sad. A brow lift will only treat concerns with the eyebrows, but if patients are concerned about their eyebrows and forehead, Dr. Bridges may suggest a forehead lift in the initial consultation.
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There are several techniques that can be considered during a brow lift procedure. Some of the approaches are interchangeable with a forehead lift, but may be used to achieve different objectives.
Also known as a direct brow lift, this approach places the incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Depending on the structure of the brow, an incision can also be made at the brow hairline to complete this process. Weak and sagging skin and tissue will be lifted and reattached to the brow bone. This approach does not affect the forehead and works to treat a sagging eyebrow and eyelid.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
This approach provides a subtle change in the position of the eyebrows. It uses several small (1-inch or smaller) incisions near the hairline of the forehead where an endoscope (specialized camera) is placed, and surgical tools are used to elevate the eyebrows. The stitches are located inside the incision to help minimize scarring. While this technique is a common approach, sometimes the results can be unpredictable.
Coronal Brow Lift
This approach places the incision lines several inches above the hairline of the head. These incisions are typically long, yet still hidden by the patient’s hair. This technique repositions the eyebrows by pulling them up to offer an alert and revitalized appearance. Sometimes hair will need to be removed during the incision closure process where the skin is reattached. This particular approach does offer dramatic results and in most cases actually repositions the hairline higher.
All brow lifts are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility. The surgery typically takes around 2 hours to complete depending on the approach. Patients can generally return to work and resume normal activities within a few days following surgery. Patients may feel that their new facial structure is not as symmetrical as it should be, nor how they anticipated. This is a common anxiety. Facial features will settle and take on a natural look within a few weeks. It may take several months for the optimal surgical results to take effect.
Plan Your Procedure
Brow Lift FAQs
Brow Lift or Facelift?
This will be discussed in detail during your initial consultation. Many times, the effects of aging take place in the forehead region alone. If wrinkles, loose skin and sagging eyebrows exist on the forehead, then a brow lift or forehead lift may be sufficient. For drooping jowls and wrinkles along the lower area of the face, then another procedure such as a full facelift may be worth consideration. Sometimes these procedures can be combined for maximum results.
Will I Look Fake?
While a brow lift produces results that allow patients to appear more awake and alert, the results are often subtle. An experienced surgeon will work within the confines of a patient’s facial structure and skin tone to create natural results that avoid a wide-eyed or hyper-alert appearance.
Can I Just use BOTOX?
No, not necessarily. BOTOX is a great non-surgical option that can improve the wrinkles and fine lines of the forehead. However, it will not lift the forehead and improve sagging and drooping features if they exist. Patients who are contemplating surgery may want to try BOTOX first and see if the results satisfy their aesthetic goals. If BOTOX proves ineffective, then a brow lift will probably help in this area.
The incisions made during a brow lift procedure are usually well-concealed once they heal. Whether they are placed in the hairline or brow line, every effort is made to keep the incisions along natural folds and hairlines so they are not visible after surgery.