Forehead (Brow) Lift
Do people repeatedly ask you if you’re feeling tired, angry or sad? This appearance may be due to sagging brows and deep lines on your forehead or between your eyebrows. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Capek offers several brow lift procedures to provide a refreshed, more alert and rested appearance. She uses different surgical and non-surgical techniques to lift your forehead and eyebrow area, and to decrease the wrinkles on your forehead to open up the area around the eyes. Dr. Capek always strives for a natural appearance, avoiding a surprised or ‘deer in the headlights’ look. Patients throughout the Capital District areas of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga trust New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lucie Capek to perform their forehead lift surgery. Many of our patients also travel from New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond to receive her skilled and compassionate care.
Am I a good candidate?
You may be a good candidate for a forehead lift if you notice the following issues:
- The outside of your brow sags, resulting in a sad expression.
- The central portion of your brow hangs down, making you look angry.
- You have frown lines between your eyebrows.
- You are unable to apply makeup on the upper eyelid because the surface area has been obscured by drooping tissues as you have aged.
- When you gently lift the skin above your eyebrow, you notice this gives you a pleasing, rested and inviting expression.
- When you gently lift the skin above your eyebrow, it eliminates most of the excess skin in your upper eyelid.
Often, patients don’t realize how much their heavy or drooping brows affect others’ perception of their mood until they see their outstanding results from a brow lift. If others ask you, “What’s wrong?” even when you feel happy and energetic, you may be a great candidate for this procedure. As with all cosmetic procedures, good health and reasonable expectations of the outcome are also important.
I really have no complaints. Dr. Capek feels like a friend by the end of your time with her, because she treats you like one. She is a gifted, talented and truly caring doctor — one in a million.
Before Your Procedure
During your consultation, Dr. Capek will determine the best way to meet your goals. Do you want to set back the clock or reposition your low-set brows that have always been that way? Are forehead wrinkles a major issue for you? Are you concerned about a high hairline? Dr. Capek will address any and all of these concerns so that you leave your consultation feeling informed and empowered to do what is best for your unique situation. Being prepared for the procedure is your first step in ensuring a positive outcome.
As always, you want to be in optimum health when considering elective surgery. Follow a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, don’t smoke since this decreases your body’s ability to heal normally, and follow your primary care physician’s advice when treating chronic conditions like high blood pressure.
Some lifting of the brows can be achieved non-surgically with a ‘chemical browlift’ using one of the FDA-approved brands of neurotoxin commonly referred to as Botox. This treatment also dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles but the injections need to be repeated every 3-4 months. For patients with more significant drooping and heaviness of the brows, however, a surgical brow lift is often a better option.
Dr. Capek performs most surgical brow lifts at an accredited surgery center with local anesthesia and conscious sedation (‘twilight’, MAC). For the majority of patients, Dr. Capek recommends an endoscopic brow lift, which is a less invasive procedure with a quick recovery, low complication rate and natural-looking results. She places small incisions in the scalp that she uses as ‘ports’ to insert an endoscope (a small tubular probe with a tiny attached camera and light) underneath the skin of the forehead. The tissues around the brow area are released, allowing the brows to move up, and some of the tiny muscles that cause furrowed brow wrinkles are weakened. The lift is held in place with deep sutures that are attached to the outer layer of the skull bone but ultimately it is your body’s own healing process that locks this new brow position in place.
Open “Coronal” Browlift:
Some patients with very heavy and low set brows, particularly associated with a low hairline and thick hair, may benefit from a traditional ‘coronal’ brow lift. This is a powerful lifting technique that uses one long incision within the scalp in a ‘hairband’ location, from above one ear and extending to the other. The rest of the procedure is similar to the endo-brow in that tissues are released and shifted up, but in this case, a strip of scalp skin is actually removed. The hairline shifts back, which can be a desirable benefit if your hairline is too low, wrinkles are dramatically reduced and the brows are arched and lifted as desired. For a patient with a high hairline, this technique can be modified by placing the incision at the edge of the hairline. This keeps the forehead height from increasing any further and can even be used to lower an excessively high forehead. The scar may be more visible here but usually heals extremely well.
Limited Incision (Temporal) Browlift:
Sometimes the brows and middle of the forehead look fine but the ‘tail’ of the brow is low and droopy. Your upper lids look hooded and often loose skin across the temple makes crow’s feet look worse. A more limited ‘temporal’ brow lift may be a great option, with small scars hidden within the scalp hair above the temple.
Forehead Lifts in Men:
Brow lifts are also one of the most popular procedures requested by male patients. As a man, you probably have naturally lower set eyebrows from youth. In your case, Dr. Capek wants to ensure that a brow lift procedure is tailored specifically to maintain a masculine look while refreshing a heavy, tired appearance. In men, she often has to accommodate a receding hairline, thin hair or male-pattern baldness by modifying where incisions are placed and what part of the brow is lifted. The results can be very rejuvenating and natural looking, often combined with a blepharoplasty or eyelid lift.
After Your Procedure
Your eyes and brow may look more open and refreshed following the procedure. As you heal, this change makes you look more rested, cheerful and alert.
Depending on which type of brow lift you have done, you can expect that a light bandage will be wrapped around your forehead and you may have drains for a day or two. This should help minimize swelling and bruising. Dr. Capek uses dissolvable sutures in the scalp and allows patients to shower and shampoo their hair 48 hours after surgery. You may experience a headache after surgery and your forehead and scalp will feel numb, tingly or itchy. This gradually gets better over several weeks, though some change in feeling may be permanent with open ‘coronal’ brow lifts. You can also expect some bruising and swelling around the eye area which may take 2-3 weeks to resolve, though with make-up, most patients are out and about one week after surgery. You should avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks and intense exercise of head-down activities like yoga for about 6 weeks.
What are the risks?
Even under the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Capek, all procedures carry some associated risks. It’s important for you to actively participate in your treatment plan by following Dr. Capek’s instructions during the entire recovery process to minimize the risk of complications. Brow lift surgery risks include bleeding, infection, excessive bruising or swelling, permanent numbness, damage to deeper structures, including nerves that move your forehead, poor scars or hair loss. In Dr. Capek’s experience, these complications are infrequent and often treatable. Brow lift surgery is generally a low-risk procedure with long-lasting and pleasing results.
Give us a call today to set up a one on one personalized consultation with Dr. Capek. Our office is just 13 miles from Albany and 9 miles from Schenectady, New York. For more information, visit out blog.