Forehead (Brow) Lift
Do people repeatedly ask you if you’re feeling tired, angry, or sad? Their assumption may be due to sagging brows and deep lines on your forehead or between your eyebrows that can alter your perceived mood or alertness.
Fortunately, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lucie 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.
What is a Forehead Lift?
A forehead lift is also commonly referred to by plastic surgeons as a brow lift, since both the brow and forehead experience benefits from the procedure. This is a surgical procedure that can physically remove excess skin and adjust the underlying muscles of the brow and/or forehead. A brow lift surgery is often combined with complementary procedures like a facelift or blepharoplasty.
Am I a Good Candidate for Forehead Lift Surgery?
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-looking expression at rest.
- 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.
- 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.
“Chemical” Brow Lift:
Some lifting of the brows can be achieved non-surgically with a so-called chemical browlift using one of the FDA-approved brands of neurotoxin commonly referred to as Botox. This treatment can both provide a lifted appearance and dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but the injections need to be repeated every 3-4 months. For patients with more significant drooping and heavy brows, however, a surgical brow lift is often a better option.
Endoscopic Brow Lift:
For the majority of patients, Dr. Capek recommends the endoscopic forehead lift, which is a less invasive procedure than a full forehead lift with a quick recovery, low complication rate, and natural-looking results.
During an endoscopic brow lift, Dr. Capek places small incisions in the scalp that she uses to insert an endoscope (a thin probe with a tiny 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 bone, but ultimately, your body’s own healing process locks this new, lifted brow position in place.
Open “Coronal” Browlift:
Some patients with very heavy and low-set brows, often exacerbated by a low hairline and thick hair, may benefit from a traditional coronal brow lift. This is a highly effective 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 endoscopic brow lift in that tissues are released and shifted up, but in this case, a strip of scalp skin is actually removed. With this procedure, 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 cosmetic surgery 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 in this situation but usually heals extremely well.
Limited Incision (Temporal) Brow Lift:
Sometimes the brows and middle of the forehead look fine but the “tail,” or outside edge 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 minimally invasive procedure temporal brow lift may be a great option, with small scars hidden within the scalp hair above the temple.
Forehead Lifts for Men:
Brow lifts are also one of the most popular procedures requested by male patients. Men typically have naturally lower-set eyebrows from youth. In these cases, Dr. Capek wants to ensure that a brow lift procedure is tailored specifically to maintain a masculine look while refreshing the heavy, tired appearance that men often request traditional brow lift surgery to help fix. For 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. Regardless, 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 undergo, you can expect that a light bandage will be wrapped around your forehead and you may have drains in place for a day or two. This should help minimize swelling and bruising. You should also keep your head elevated as instructed, including while sleeping.
Dr. Capek uses dissolvable sutures in the scalp and allows patients to shower and wash their hair 48 hours after surgery. You may experience a headache after surgery and your forehead and scalp might 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 makeup, most patients are out and about one week after surgery. You should avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks and intense exercise or head-down activities like yoga for about 6 weeks.
What are the Risks of Forehead Lifts?
Even under the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Capek, all surgical 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.
Forehead lift surgery is generally a low-risk procedure with long-lasting and pleasing results. Dr. Capek performs most surgical brow lifts at an accredited surgery center with local anesthesia and conscious sedation (twilight, MAC).
Learn More About Brow Lift Surgery
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 our blog.