Brow Lift (Forehead Lift)

WHY IS A BROW LIFT PERFORMED?

Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift minimizes the creases that develop across the forehead, or those that occur high on the bridge of the nose. It improves what are commonly referred to as frown lines; and repositions a low or sagging brow.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION?

This procedure minimizes forehead creases, drooping eyebrows, hooding over the eyes, furrowed forehead and frown lines by removing excessive tissue, altering muscles and tightening the forehead skin. Results can be achieved by making an incision in the hairline, similar to a facelift, and subtly lifting the skin of the forehead or by an endoscopic approach utilizing a digital microchip camera and video monitor. With the endoscopic approach the surgeon is able to manipulate instruments through tiny, obscure incisions which are placed inconspicuously behind the hairline. When combined with an upper and lower blepharoplasty, dramatic rejuvenation of the upper one-third of the face can be accomplished. This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia and takes about 1-2 hours.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?

There are general risks associated with a general anesthetic such as aspiration of stomach content into the lungs which can cause serious illness or death. Therefore, to help prevent this it is mandatory that you do not eat or drink anything (usually 8 hours) preceding your surgery. Other risks include DVTs, (clots in the veins of the legs) which can break off and travel to the lungs, this is known as an embolus and although very rare, can be life threatening; especially in smokers. You will be encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as possible to reduce these risks. You may have temporary swelling, numbness, headaches and bruising. Injury to facial nerves can cause loss of motion, muscle weakness or an asymmetrical look. Because the incision is made high on the scalp to avoid damage to the sensory nerve supply, there should be very little permanent numbness to the forehead or scalp. However, there is bound to be some numbness at the top of the scalp, behind the suture line, because the nerves supplying this part of the scalp are cut with the initial incision. This small amount of sensory loss usually causes minimal disability or distress.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE OPERATION?

You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first 24 hours after surgery. You may experience some pain which should be alleviated by the pain medications. Sutures are normally removed 5-10 days after surgery. The scar line is generally imperceptible through the hair. Hair loss may occur on either side of the suture line or hair may become thinner. This is due to tissue swelling and hair should usually grow back within 6 months. Small areas of permanent hair loss may occur but can usually be concealed or corrected with small hair transplant plugs.

WHEN CAN NORMAL ACTIVITIES BE RESUMED?

The patient usually returns to work in 7-10 days and sometimes sooner. The patient must limit more strenuous activities for several weeks. Full recovery from bruising takes from 1-2 weeks. One should limit sun exposure for several months to avoid hyper pigmentation of the forehead which can occur as a result of sunlight exposure during the first 3-6 months after the procedure has been performed.

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