Have you been interested in reclaiming the youthful look of your face by having your sagging forehead taken care of? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for a brow lift in Houston, TX performed by Alfonso Barrera, MD.
What is a Brow Lift?
A brow lift may also be referred to as a forehead lift. The surgical procedure corrects age-related changes that affect the uppermost part of the face. Normally, the eyebrows should rest at or just above the upper orbital rim. This rim is the bony structure that surrounds the eyes.
The center of the brow line is slightly lower, arching upward as the brows span toward the edges of the face. The arch and height of the eyebrows portray not only age but also mood and general personality. When the brow line shifts, it can make the face appear angry or sad.
The brow lift is customized to the individual and the changes that have affected their appearance. In general, this procedure restores the brow line to its rightful position. Horizontal lines on the forehead can also be eliminated.
What are the Benefits of a Brow Lift?
The benefit of a brow lift is that the face looks younger. By positioning the brow line in the right contour, a forehead lift can restore a friendly tone to the face in addition to one that appears more energetic and awake. Ultimately, by refreshing the eye and forehead area, it helps a person feel like their best self. In turn, this can elevate personal satisfaction and a sense of self-esteem.
Who are the Ideal Candidates for a Brow Lift?
Healthy adults who are interested in refreshing their eye and forehead area may be excellent candidates for brow lift surgery. Some of the corrections that a brow lift can make include:
- Heavy upper eyelids caused by a drooping brow line
- Drooping of the outer eyebrows
- Horizontal forehead lines
Careful consultation and examination are performed to ensure that each patient is in good health before surgery. Smokers are asked to abstain from tobacco and nicotine as long as possible before and after surgery to aid in healing. During the consultation visit, Dr. Barrera pays close attention to the upper eyelids as well as the forehead and brows. In some cases, the skin on the eyelids needs to be adjusted to achieve the desired improvements.
How is Brow Lift Surgery Performed?
Forehead Lift surgery may involve one of a few different techniques. The most common is the endoscopic brow lift. This is a limited incision technique compared to the classic brow and forehead lift that was once very common.
The classic brow lift involves one long incision. This is referred to as a coronal incision. It is made behind the hairline in the direction of one ear to the other. There is no need to shave hair for this incision. The scar that results from the incision is well-hidden in the hair and does not affect hair pattern or how the hair lays. Great care must be taken if the coronal incision is used for a person with a receding hairline so as not to create a disproportionate height on the forehead.
The endoscopic brow lift is conducted through approximately 5 incisions rather than one long one. Each incision is only a few millimeters in length, only large enough to allow a pencil-thin instrument through. A tiny tube with a camera is inserted through one incision to reflect the superficial muscles and tissue. The camera transfers the operative field onto a monitor in the operating room. Observing the monitor, Dr. Barrera then inserts instruments through the other incisions to lift, secure, and trim tissue as needed.
Regardless of incision type, the brow lift repositions sagging tissue to set the brow line where it should naturally lie along the orbital rim. Excess skin and soft tissue are trimmed after the muscle is secured with small tacks or sutures. A few external stitches may also be placed to close the incisions.
What is the Recovery from Brow Lift?
The first few days after a brow lift tend to be the most uncomfortable. However, most patients describe the pain as mild. Initially, prescription pain medication may be taken to manage comfort. The head should be kept elevated at all times. Patients may sleep in a recliner or with their head on two pillows instead of one. Head elevation should continue throughout the first week of recovery.
The third day of recovery is often a turning point. At this time, patients often feel their energy returning. They may transition to over-the-counter pain medication. It can be tempting to be up and about as energy returns. Now is not the time to take on too much. Continue to take it easy for at least a few more days.
Work and light activities may be resumed about 10 days after a forehead lift. Patients are advised to postpone exercise for about two weeks. An elevated heart rate pumps more blood through the body, and this can pose a risk of recurrent swelling or worsened bruising.
Three weeks after surgery, most of the bruising and swelling that had occurred should be gone. Remnant bruising may be disguised with makeup. As healing continues, it is important to avoid prolonged sun exposure and heat.
What Results Can I expect?
Patients can expect to see an immediate difference in their appearance after their brow lift. However, swelling and bruising will obscure some of the improvement that has been achieved. The final results from surgery are typically evident by about six months post-op (swelling and bruising are gone much sooner). After six months, the hairline or scalp incisions are almost completely healed and nothing but a youthful appearance remains.
How Long Do Results from a Brow Lift Last For?
Gravity will continue to affect the face, as will biology. However, the appearance of wrinkles on the forehead should never be as severe as they were before surgery. These lines tend to recur gradually and only mildly over time. Patients can enjoy longer-lasting results from a brow lift when they take good care of their skin, use sunscreen daily, and obtain conservative care such as Botox for mild frown lines and other muscle-related dynamic wrinkles.
Does Getting a Brow Lift Hurt?
Anesthesia is used to make the procedure comfortable. Some patients undergo treatment with general anesthesia, though a local anesthetic and sedation may also be an option. During the consultation visit, anesthesia and surgical technique are carefully discussed. Regardless of the type of anesthesia that is selected, patients can expect to rest comfortably and pain-free as their facial rejuvenation is performed.
Risks & Side Effects of Brow Lift Surgery
A few temporary side effects should be expected after brow lift surgery. These include:
- Incision areas may be tender to the touch
- The forehead and eye area may be sore or tender
- Tissue around incisions may feel numb or may itch
- Bruising and swelling will occur around the eyes
Risks of brow lift surgery include:
- Fluid or blood accumulation in tissue
- Poor incision healing