What is an eyebrow lift?
A brow lift is the procedure of choice for our Richens Eye Center patients whose eyebrows are sagging, creating a perpetually tired, sad, or angry countenance. Brow lifts are different than eyelid surgery, which addresses sagging in either the upper or lower eyelids or both. Brow lifts specifically target the brows and the forehead.
The goal is to smooth forehead lines and to raise the brows, giving the person a younger, more alert appearance. To do this, Dr. Richens repositions or adjusts the muscles above the eyes and across the forehead.
She also releases the muscles that create the vertical lines between the eyebrows, commonly known as the 11s. She’ll employ different techniques depending on the individual patient’s situation.
If you are considering a brow lift in St. George UT, Mesquite NV and surrounding areas, call today to schedule an appointment.
Benefits of a Brow Lift
What is the benefit of looking younger, more alert, refreshed, and not angry? Sagging brows can give you a perpetually tired or even angry appearance, regardless of how you actually feel. By bringing your brows and forehead tissues back upward, excising any extra sagging skin, this erases forehead lines, the 11s between your eyebrows, and the drooping of your eyebrow area.
Candidates for a Brow Lift
Everyone has some degree of sagging across the brows and forehead; that’s just a reality of aging. Some people have a genetic disposition to sagging in this area. For some, sagging is extreme enough that it is impinging upon their field of vision. Most of our Richens Eye Center brow lift patients are between 45 and 60 years old.
There is a simple way that you can see if a brow lift could help with that perpetually tired countenance. Stand in front of a mirror and place the lower palms of each hand just above your eyebrows on each side of your head. Slightly pull those palms outward and upward and you’ll see how a brow lift will reposition your sagging skin and tissues.
How is a brow lift performed?
Dr. Richens has different options when it comes to these surgeries. She tailors her brow lift technique to match your unique situation. For instance, a “temporal brow lift” targets more sagging on the outer half of the brow. A “central brow lift” moves the focus to drooping of the inner brows.
These are the two basic options for a brow lift, depending on your personal situation. If at all possible, we prefer to use endoscopic methods, as this creates much more manageable scarring and an easier recovery.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
Thanks to continuing improvements in technology, the endoscopic brow lift is becoming the method of choice for these surgeries. In this method, Dr. Richens makes three to five short incisions within the hairline. An endoscope, a tiny instrument with a camera on the end, is inserted into one of the incisions. This provides excellent visuals of the area to be addressed without the need for the longer coronal incision. Tools are inserted into the other small incisions to manipulate the skin and muscles. As you would expect, there is very little scarring with this method.
Coronal Brow Lift
Until the development of the endoscope, this was really the only option for these procedures. This is also known as the “traditional” or “full” brow lift. It involves a single coronal (think of it as the shape of a pair of headphones) incision that runs from one ear, wraps up around the forehead, and terminates at the other ear. This incision is hidden within the hairline. The forehead skin is lifted away and underlying muscles are trimmed and repositioned as appropriate. If necessary, the eyebrows may be lifted. The final step is to trim excess skin. Then the skin in re-draped and the incision is closed.
During your consultation with Dr. Richens the two of you can discuss which technique will enable the degree of correction necessary for your situation.
Brow Lift Recovery
Your recovery will be dictated by the method used for your brow lift. No matter the technique used there will be swelling and bruising, and this can migrate down into your cheeks and around your eyes. While unpleasant, this should run its course in a week to 10 days. For the first two or three days after your surgery, you’ll need to keep your head elevated, even while sleeping.
Traditional brow lifts involve more numbness and discomfort along the incision. Initial numbness will be replaced by itching that can last up to six months. Often, the hair near the incision will fall out or thin, but normal hair growth should return within weeks or a few months.
Endoscopic brow lifts will also involve some numbness due to the tissue manipulation, but there is far less itching than with a traditional lift.
Most patients can return to work within 10 days, but heavy lifting and vigorous exercise will need to wait for around one month. You need to try and keep your blood pressure from elevating in the forehead area.
How long do the results of a brow lift last?
The changes made to elevate your brows and other areas of the forehead are permanent. But they can’t stop the ongoing effects of aging. The goal in a brow lift is to give permanent improvement to the transverse lines and frown lines of the forehead. Aspects of a brow lift will remain. For instance, forehead lines will never again be as severe. Your brows will continue to descend with time, but you’ll never have the same degree of sagging again. The average brow lift patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last from 10-12 years.
Is brow lift surgery safe?
Dr. Richens is a board certified ophthalmologist and plastic surgeon and has extensive experience with brow lift procedures. These are safe, effective surgeries with low risk. The main issue is with numbness along the incision locations. This changes to itching after a couple months. This will resolve as the nerves adapt to the tissue repositioning.
Is a brow lift painful?
Obviously, the surgery itself is painless. Recovery doesn’t involve acute pain, especially with the small incisions of an endoscopic lift. The real feelings involved are numbness that changes to itching as the tissues and nerves adapt. Still the facial nerves in the upper third of the face are not as sensitive as those around the mid and lower face, so pain is manageable during recovery.
Risks of Eyebrow Lift Surgery
Prior to scheduling surgery, the patient and our surgeon will discuss the risks associated with an eyebrow lift. In addition to general surgical risks, the risks of a brow lift include:
- Hair Loss Around the Incision Site(s)
- Facial Asymmetry
- Higher Hairline
- Injury to Facial Nerves
- Eye Dryness/Irritation