Brow Lift- aka Thread Lift, forehead lift, eyebrow lift
What is it?
A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, is a surgical procedure designed to minimize the creases that begin to develop across the forehead or on the bridge of the nose. The surgical procedure is commonly referred to as something that helps to repair frown lines or to repair low or even sagging that can occur on the forehead.
Many patients choose to have a brow lift as it can minimize the creases that develop between the eyebrows, to reposition the upper eyelid and to make the eyebrows look more alert and youthful.
The first portion of the operation occurs when anesthesia is administered. Generally this is done through an IV and will be discussed ahead of time.
Following anesthesia, the patient will be moved into the operating room and the physician will make their incision. In some case, the incision for a brow lift can be done through an endoscope. An endoscope is a newer device that uses a video to allow the surgeon to see and make incisions along the brow line. The incisions that are made are what the physician will use to reposition, alter, move or make changes to the forehead tissue.
An alternative to the traditional brow lift is to use a coronal brow lift. This technique is more specific in the areas of the brow that are targeted and uses a larger incision that moves from ear to ear. Recovery is generally longer during an coronal brow lift than one that is done with an endoscope as the incision is larger.
The key to a successful brow lift is that the incisions are done in or along the hairline so that they can be concealed.
Once the brow has been modified to its desired state, the surgeon will close the incisions. The incisions may be closed with removable sutures, ones that can be absorbed, skin adhesives, surgical tape or even special clips.
Alternatives to Surgery
There are some skin resurfacing techniques that have proven effective. And, for some, Botox has been able to repair many of the lines and wrinkles that occur on and along the forehead. In addition to non-surgical techniques, many patients will choose to have eyelid surgery and a facelift in combination with a brow lift to gain a more overall youthful appearance and will have all of the procedures performed in the same surgical sitting.
Before the Operation
The surgeon will discuss all of the pre-operative requirements with the patient prior to their procedure and it will be important to adhere to all of them for the best possible outcome as possible. It is common for the physician to require lab testing and certain medications prior to the surgery. There will also be specific instructions on allowable food and drink prior to surgery that are crucial for the anesthesia portion of the procedure.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
Following the surgery, the patient will be moved into recovery to allow time to wake up from the anesthesia. There are generally requirements that a patient must meet prior to release to ensure that they are in an ideal state to move home for additional recovery time. It will be essential to have someone to drive the patient home following surgery.
After the Operation- At Home
The recovery time at home is important. The surgeon will send the patient home with a variety of instructions to help with a smooth healing time. There will often be tape around the incision site on the forehead and in most cases also bandages that are used to reduce swelling and bruising. Some surgeons will use a thin drainage tube also to help with fluid retention and build up around the incision.
It will be important to follow any and all recommendations from the surgeon regarding activity, medications to take and follow up visits. Resuming regular activity too soon can result in a variety of possible medical problems and is not advised.
There are a variety of possible complications that should be considered for a brow lift. While in many cases patients will not experience any of them, they are important to consider and can include:
- Bleeding, including hematoma
- Slow to heal wounds
- Blood clots
- Skin loss
- Facial nerve injury
- Elevated hairline
- Facial asymmetry
- Eye irritation or dryness
- Numbness of the skin
- Changes in skin sensation
- Fluid accumulation around the incision site
- Persistent pain
As in any surgical procedure, it is important to examine all of the available alternative options so that you can select the best choice for you. Also, it is advised to interview multiple surgeons to find one with the desired experience and that the patient would feel comfortable with prior to making a final selection.
Estimated Costs for Brow Lifts