Brow Lift / Forehead Lift Surgery
The way excess and loose skin around the eyebrow behaves can negatively impact your ability to emote. This can make you feel significantly older than you truly are, and deep creases and folds above your eyes can make you feel as though you look angry all the time.
A brow-lift surgery helps you feel more youthful again, enhancing your appearance by smoothing the lines of the forehead — creases that deepen in part as a result of the particularly intense sun in Newport Beach and Orange County. A skilled surgeon such as Dr. Tenley Lawton also can relieve the “hooding” of your eyes, which often makes them appear smaller.
Getting a brow lift can help make you feel as though you’re getting your face back — the reflection in the mirror will feel familiar, responsive, youthful. Your eyes can even appear brighter. There are several different brow-lift techniques; a consultation with Dr. Lawton will help you determine the appropriate choice for the results you want. Brow-lift surgery is performed in Dr. Lawton’s Orange County outpatient surgery suite in Newport Beach.
The Brow Lift Procedure
Dr. Lawton chooses the right technique for your brow lift based on a number of factors, including your forehead height, hairline location and the amount of eyebrow elevation required. The three most common approaches:
- Endoscopic: In cases where modest changes are desired, an endoscopic approach often is the optimal technique. Dr. Lawton will make a series of tiny incisions along the scalp (usually measured in centimeters). Then, she will use a tiny camera called an endoscope to guide the work. This is sometimes referred to as a “closed” brow lift because it is minimally invasive and the majority of the work takes place beneath the skin.
- Open Brow Lift: An endoscopic approach can generate excellent results, but for patients who require more significant work, an open brow lift often is more effective because it allows greater access to trouble areas. During an open brow lift, an incision is made along the hairline (or, in some cases, along one of the creases of the forehead). Dr. Lawton will then reorient and remove excess skin, tissue and fat in order to achieve a more youthful appearance.
- Limited Incision: While a completely open or closed approach will be the appropriate course of action for some patients, a middle ground is better for others. So-called “limited-incision” procedures are perfect for patients who do not require a full open brow lift but cannot achieve the desired results with an endoscopic technique. Limited-incision procedures essentially combine the two approaches, using an open approach as necessary but a closed technique where possible.
Every brow-lift incision Dr. Lawton makes with either the open or endoscopic technique will be well-camouflaged.
Recovery from a Brow-Lift Procedure
Brow-lift patients can expect to have mild discomfort, but typically it is easily controlled with oral pain medication. Depending on the brow-lift technique used, forehead numbness and itching may occur; this will improve with time. The majority of forehead swelling will resolve in one week, allowing a return to light work and social activity. Vigorous physical activity, including jogging, frequent bending, sex or any activity that raises your blood pressure is not recommended for three weeks. Each patient has a different recovery timetable — it is based on your overall health, the rate at which your body heals and the scope of work performed on your brow. That’s why every patient receives individualized recovery instructions from Dr. Lawton before the procedure begins. It is particularly important that patients follow these instructions, as they are designed to protect your results and maximize comfort. In general, patients can expect their recovery to loosely follow this timeline:
- First day — Movement around the house is encouraged. With permission from Dr. Lawton, showering may be permitted, though all patients should be careful around the incision sites. (This may vary depending on the incision type performed.)
- First week — Patients are usually allowed to return to work after (or during) the first week of recovery, assuming their jobs are not physically demanding. Patients who can take time off of work, however, are often encouraged to do so. Additionally, makeup may be used to help hide bruising — but makeup types should be cleared by Dr. Lawton.
- Second week — Most patients are able to stop taking pain medication after the second week, allowing them to return to a host of normal activities (such as driving).
- Fourth week — Most brow-lift patients experience near-total recovery after four weeks. Under the instruction of Dr. Lawton, most should be able to gradually begin exercising and engaging in more vigorous activities. Swelling and bruising should have mostly subsided by this point.
Once recovery is complete, patients will be able to enjoy the feelings of youth, vitality, and confidence that come from their brow-lift procedure.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Brow Lift?
A brow lift — sometimes called a forehead lift — can address several common issues that develop around the forehead due to normal aging processes. Good candidates for a brow-lift procedure typically exhibit the following characteristics:
- Drooping skin and tissue around the brow
- A face that looks sad, angry or aged due to excess skin around the brow
- Deep lines between the eyes
- Excess wrinkles caused by loose or sagging skin
- Eyes or eyelids obscured by drooping brow
- Realistic expectations regarding what a brow lift can accomplish
Many patients opt to include other procedures with their brow lift. For example, brow-lift procedures often are performed along with an eyelid lift (or blepharoplasty) in order to maximize the results of each. During your consultation with Dr. Lawton, you will discuss whether a brow lift is the right approach for the outcome you seek. You should be prepared to talk about your general medical history, including any medications you are currently taking and any previous procedures you have had performed.
Brow Lift or Facelift?
Many patients are uncertain whether a facelift or a brow lift is the best option to achieve the results they want. That confusion makes sense, as the names can obfuscate the purpose of the procedures. A facelift, for example, might more accurately be called a “mid-face-lift.” In most cases, a brow lift will address issues around the forehead, while a facelift mitigates signs of aging around the cheeks and jaw. Determining whether you need a brow lift or a facelift might be as simple as looking in the mirror to determine the location of your lines, wrinkles and the majority of your excess skin. Many patients, however, decide to have both a brow lift and facelift. The combination is a great way to achieve a significant, yet still natural-looking, transformation.
Would you like to learn more about a Brow Lift procedure? Fill out the “Request a Consultation” form on this page or call Tenley K. Lawton M.D. at 949-640-0999 to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton serving Newport Beach and the greater Orange County, CA area.