Brow Lift

Low eyebrows make a person look tired, maybe even angry.  Wrinkles develop from subconsciously using the forehead muscles to elevate the brows and upper eyelids.   A brow lift may be ideal in situations like this.

Brow lift techniques

There are several ways to perform a brow lift. The technique chosen is based on the person’s physical characteristics and desires.

Hairline brow lift

With this type of brow lift an incision is made immediately behind the hairline. The forehead skin is lifted off of the underlying muscle and pulled tight. The extra skin is removed, resulting in a precise, tailored elevation of specific areas of the eyebrows.  This is the type brow lift Dr. Kunkel performs most frequently.  The incisions are made in a way that allows growth of hair through the scar over several months, making it difficult to detect.

Endoscopic brow lift

Three to five short incisions are made just behind the hairline. An instrument called an endoscope is then placed beneath the skin. The forehead skin is lifted off the underlying tissue. The muscles between the eyebrows may be thinned or removed.  The eyebrows are then lifted to their new positions. Women who do best with this procedure are often in their 30’s and 40’s.  This was the most common type of brow lift in the U.S. in the early 2000’s but the hairline approach is probably used more today.

Coronal brow lift

This is the “classic” brow lift, very popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s. An incision is made behind the hairline, stretching across the top of the head from one ear to the other. The scalp and forehead skin are elevated off the underlying tissue. The muscles between the eyebrows are modified to help minimize wrinkles in this area. The eyebrows are then lifted to their new positions and excess skin is trimmed. Typically women who undergo this brow lift are in their 60’s or 70’s.

Direct brow lift

Sometimes all it takes is relatively small incisions directly over the eyebrows.  This procedure is more common in men than women.  Men tend to have thicker eyebrow hair and the scar may be less noticeable.  This may be a good operation for a man in his 60’s or 70’s whose eyebrows have descended enough that his eyelids are draped over the eyelashes.

Where does brow lift surgery take place?

Dr. Kunkel performs brow lift surgery in a surgery center or hospital.   The procedure takes a little over an hour.  The patient is put to sleep under the direction of an anesthesiologist (general anesthesia).   Brow lifts are often combined with cosmetic eyelid surgery or a facelift.   Most patients go home the same day.

Recovery after brow lift surgery

Some swelling and bruising are present after surgery.  Bruising may be noticeable to other people for 3 to 4 weeks.  The forehead skin may be numb for a while.  Some patients return to work after a week or 10 days.  Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.

brow lift surgery risks

Every surgical procedure includes risks. All operations, from hysterectomies to gallbladder removal to brow lifts include risks of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and poor healing. Risks more unique to brow lifts include numbness of the forehead and scalp, hair loss near the incision sites, asymmetry of brow position, and loss of movement of parts of the forehead.

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