Day to day, it can be difficult to notice the signs of aging. Then, one morning, you look in the mirror or see an old photograph and notice that your brow has begun to droop, changing your expression and making you look much older than you feel. Unfortunately, signs of aging in the brow can begin fairly early in life, as gravity and collagen loss weaken the skin and cause it to start sagging. This can cause many people to feel self-conscious or compromise first impressions by projecting a perpetually tired, sad, or angry expression. Fortunately, early signs of brow aging don’t have to mean that you’re doomed to looking old. A brow lift is a simple but refreshing surgical treatment that can elevate the brow and give patients a more youthful appearance. Dr. Louis DeJoseph offers customized brow lift procedures to patients at Premier Image in Atlanta, GA.
What is a Brow Lift?
A brow lift is a surgical procedure that is performed to lift and elevate the brow, returning it to a more youthful position. With age, the skin and muscles begin to sag and droop over the brow and eyes. A brow lift physically lifts the skin and internal structures of the brow for a more refreshed, awake, and alert appearance. The procedure can be performed by making incisions behind the hairline or using a more minimally-invasive approach with an endoscope (tiny camera).
The Benefits of a Brow Lift
People mainly undergo brow lifts for cosmetic reasons. The expression often changes with age, which can make people seem angry, tired, sad, or worried when they aren’t. Consequently, many people are self-conscious of this and don’t feel that their appearance reflects their actual mood or age. A brow lift not only brightens the eye area and restores the resting expression, it can also help patients have more confidence in social situations. Some people also seek brow lift surgery because the skin has drooped so far that it hangs over their eyes, impacting normal vision. In these cases, a brow lift can pull the skin up, solving the problem and also providing cosmetic benefits.
Are You a Candidate?
Candidates for a brow lift should be healthy adults who do not smoke and are not taking blood thinners. Patients should have drooping or sagging skin in the brow area that is disrupting the aesthetics of the face or overall vision. It is important for prospective patients to have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure—the goal of cosmetic surgery is improvement, not perfection. Only you and your plastic surgeon can determine your individual candidacy.
Your Brow Lift Consultation
Before you can undergo a forehead lift, you will need to meet with Dr. DeJoseph at Premier Image in Atlanta. Dr. DeJoseph needs to assess your facial aging and ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. During the meeting, he will ask you questions about your goals and your health history and make recommendations for a treatment plan. If he thinks you are a good candidate for a brow lift, he will help you decide which surgical technique should be used during the procedure, based on your needs. You should use this opportunity to ask any questions you have and get to know Dr. DeJoseph. Being able to trust your surgeon and make an informed decision based on reliable information is crucial.
The Brow Lift Surgery
Due to the differences in the techniques used, the surgical process can vary, including the anesthesia used. Typically, general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation are used during a brow lift procedure. The incisions will be made where they can be hidden by the hair, and the size and location of the incision will depend on whether or not the endoscopic technique is used. This method requires smaller incisions, as the surgeon will gain visibility using a small camera mounted on a flexible tube.
Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will tighten the skin and muscles in the forehead, elevating the brow but maintaining a natural appearance. Finally, the incisions are closed. Forehead lifts are almost always performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can return home that day.
Recovery and Downtime
Rest should be the first priority during the first few days following a brow lift. Stitches are normally removed about 7 days after the procedure, and your doctor will advise you on when you can return to work (usually 1-2 weeks after surgery). There will be some swelling and discomfort following the procedure, but this can be eased somewhat by keeping the head elevated and using prescribed pain medication. Patients should follow their doctor’s instructions as closely as possible, and avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks at a minimum.
How old should I be before I decide to undergo brow lift surgery?
There is no “right age” for a brow lift since every case is unique. Many people start noticing signs of aging in their mid to late thirties, and they may choose to undergo the procedure in their early 40s or 50s. It all depends on your goals and how uncomfortable you are with your current look. Don’t think of your candidacy in terms of age; as long as you are a healthy adult, it should be fine to undergo a brow lift procedure.
Which brow lift technique is right for me?
The only way to choose the procedure that’s right for you is to discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon and come to a decision together. You’ll get all the information and advice you need to make the decision that’s right for you and your needs. Your surgeon may not even recommend a brow lift at all! Some patients can benefit more from a blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) than a brow lift, depending on where your signs of aging are concentrated. Your surgeon will customize your treatment plan to suit your individual needs.
What are the risks and potential complications?
As with any surgery, there are always risks, but the procedure is very safe overall. Some complications that can occur include anesthesia complications, bleeding, infection, numbness, unfavorable scarring, or a poor aesthetic outcome. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have prior to scheduling the surgery. You should feel comfortable with the procedure before you make a decision.
Can a brow lift be combined with other procedures?
Absolutely. Many people combine a brow lift with other anti-aging surgeries, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lift). Combining procedures can create more comprehensive results and even slow down the aging process. Non-surgical complementary treatments like Botox are also popular among brow lift patients.
Will a brow lift resolve the horizontal lines on my forehead?
While a forehead lift can soften the deep horizontal lines that form on the forehead, this is not the primary purpose of the procedure. Patients may want to include Botox as part of their overall treatment plan to ease these lines for a more youthful appearance.
Are the results permanent?
Like other anti-aging surgeries, a brow lift can help slow down aging in the area and reverse some of the signs of aging, but it cannot stop the process altogether. The results are generally long-lasting but are not considered to be permanent.
How do I choose a brow lift surgeon?
It is important to be selective when considering potential plastic surgeons. Only consider board certified facial plastic surgeons who have extensive experience in anti-aging surgeries and a good reputation. Your results will depend on the skill of your surgeon, so don’t just look for the cheapest price—look for an expert.
Will I be able to see better after the procedure?
If you have a great deal of excess skin hanging down and partially obscuring your vision, a brow lift can help you see better. Ptosis to this degree is fairly rare, but it does happen.
Will I look surprised after my brow lift?
Modern brow lift techniques are very effective in creating a natural appearance and avoiding unfavorable aesthetic outcomes. As long as you choose a skilled and artistic surgeon, you should not have to worry about ending up looking constantly surprised.
Is Botox a good non-surgical substitute for a brow lift?
Botox is great for easing dynamic wrinkles, like those found running horizontally along the brow. However, it is not a good treatment for lifting the brow and should not be used as a substitute for surgery. In fact, the two procedures are often performed in combination with one another.
Taking the Next Steps
If you think a brow lift could help you restore your youthful confidence, then it may be time to start reaching out to plastic surgeons. Atlanta-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Louis DeJoseph is dedicated to providing patients with the best options in plastic surgery, and he is standing by to help you reach your anti-aging goals. For more information, call Premier Image in Atlanta, GA, at 770-457-6303.