If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed about getting older, it’s that our skin and underlying support tissues will sag. That’s certainly true on our forehead and the brow area above our eyes. Unfortunately when these areas sag they can give off the impression that we’re either perpetually tired, sad, or even angry. If your sagging is extreme, it may even impact your field of vision. Dr. Bedrossian can bring your brows back up with a brow lift, giving you back a more alert, refreshed look.
What Is A Brow Lift?
A brow lift is a surgical procedure targeting the entire forehead and the brows. Dr. Bedrossian’s goal with these procedures is to bring the brows and forehead skin back up to their younger positions. This will make the patient appear more alert and younger. It will remove the drooping, sagging countenance that is aging you beyond your years. In this surgery, Dr. Bedrossian repositions or adjusts the muscles above the eyes and across the forehead. He also relieves the muscles that create the vertical lines between the eyebrows, commonly known as the 11s.
Candidates For A Brow Lift
Genetics can play a role in whether you have sagging brows or not. Some people are simply prone to this problem. For others, it’s just a part of aging. You are probably fully aware of the drooping that is happening, but you also may have heard from other people. They may have asked if you’re tired or even angry because they interpreted that from your sagging, hooded brows. Dr. Bedrossian’s patients for this surgery are usually between the ages of 45 and 60. There is a simple test you can perform to see if a brow lift would help. Stand in front of the 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.
Brow Lift Procedure
If possible, Dr. Bedrossian will perform this surgery using endoscopic methods. This makes for shorter incisions and easier recovery. For some patients, however, this cannot create enough change, especially if excess skin needs to be removed. There are three basic methods that Dr. Bedrossian uses for brow lifts, the newer endoscopic method, and the traditional coronal method. Here is how each is done.
- Trans-Eyelid Brow lift - this advanced minimally invasive brow lift procedure is performed through an eyelid incision, usually in conjunction with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty or ‘eyelid lift’ . It elevates the eyebrows, reduces deep forehead wrinkling as well as horizontal and vertical lines. The minimally invasive trans- eyelid brow lift is associated with less pain, quicker healing and minimal scarring.
- Endoscopic brow lift — Thanks to continuing improvements in technology, the endoscopic brow lift is becoming the standard for brow lifts. In this method, three to five short incisions are made within the hairline. An endoscope, a tiny instrument with a camera on the end, is inserted into one of the incisions. This provides Dr. Bedrossian with excellent visuals of the area to be addressed without the need for the longer coronal incision. He inserts tools 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 — Before the development of tiny endoscopes, this was the only option for performing a brow lift. Also known as the “traditional” brow lift, this method 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. Bedrossian, the two of you will discuss if the endoscopic method can create the changes you seek.
Brow Lift Before And After
Brow Lift Vs. Facelift
People often confuse what can be accomplished with a facelift. This is probably due to the name: they assume a “facelift” corrects aging on the entire face. Reality is that facelifts only address the area under the eyes down to the upper neck, depending on the method used.
Brow lifts target the remaining portion of the face: the forehead and brow area. These areas have a completely different underlying musculature system than the lower face, and they require completely different methods than used for facelifts. Plus, the skin on the forehead is much thinner than that of the lower face.
Can A Brow Lift Be Combined With Other Procedures?
A brow lift is a perfect complement to a facelift and /or an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) if the patient seeks to address the entire face. Dr. Bedrossian performs many eyelid lifts and midface lifts in combination with brow lifts. Eyelid surgery is a natural secondary procedure to have in tandem with a brow lift. Eyelid surgery removes excess skin and repositions the muscles that control the eyelids. If sagging brows are the patient’s problem, eyelid surgery may not be necessary, but most people have a combination of sagging brows and sagging eyelids.
Recovery From Brow Lift Surgery
You will definitely have swelling and bruising after your brow lift, 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. This and frequent use of ice compresses really help with both swelling and bruising.
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 tissue manipulation, but there is far less itching than traditional methods.
During your recovery, it’s important to reduce pressure to your face. This means that bending down, lifting, or any activities where you can feel the pressure build around your eyes and forehead need to be avoided. Best to avoid bending below your waist or lifting more than 10 pounds.
When Can I Return To Work After A Brow Lift?
Every patient is unique in the way they recover. Still, most of Dr. Bedrossian’s brow lift patients can return to work within 10 days. There are some limits, however: heavy lifting and vigorous physical exertion will need to wait for around one month.
Risks Of Brow Lift Surgery
Brow lifts have been performed for decades and have been proven to be very safe and effective. This is surgery, so the usual possible complications exist excessive bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, infection, forehead/scalp numbness and the like.
A couple of side effects are involved with this particular surgery. Usually, these are involved with coronal brow lifts, due to the lengthy incision (That’s another reason Dr. Bedrossian prefers the trans-eyelid or the endoscopic method). Patients can experience hair loss along the incision (traditional method). There can also be some difficulty moving forehead muscles or your brows, but these are rare complications. The most common side effect/complication is itching along the incision locations. This can last for months, but eventually, it resolves when your nerves have adapted.