What is Brow Lift?
Browlift is a procedure to elevate the resting position of the eyebrows. This also has some effect on the upper eyelids when there is excess skin although it is usually helpful or necessary to combine brow lift with a procedure to remove baggy skin from the eyelids (upper eye bag removal; upper blepharoplasty) and it is often combined with lower eyelid surgery or face lift surgery.
How would I be helped by browlift?
Browlift is intended to rejuvenate and refresh the appearance of the eyes. It may also improve your field of vision if this has become reduced by a heavy brow or upper eyelid. Frown lines on the forehead and between the brows are also typically smoother after brow lift.
With advancing years the tissues of the face tend to descend with gravity. Around the eyes, the brow moves to a position just below the upper rim of the eye socket. Typically this is combined with an excess bag or fold of skin on the upper eyelid. The result of this may be a hooded, tired, mournful or even fierce appearance to the eyes. Sometimes a heavy brow can obscure peripheral vision and patients may be aware of heaviness, tiredness or headaches associated with straining the forehead muscles to keep the eyes fully open.
Will I be able to move my brow after surgery?
Yes. The operation moves the attachment of the forehead muscles upwards without affecting the viability of the muscles themselves. You will still be able to move your eyebrows although the range of movement up and down will be reduced because of the tightening effect of surgery. Very occasionally the nerve which operates these muscles can be permanently damaged by the surgery.
How is the operation done?
One of the most important aspects of surgery is your consultation. Your surgeon will listen carefully to your concerns and discuss what you want to achieve.
The operation itself is done while you are asleep (general anaesthetic). It takes approximately an hour but your operation may be longer if brow lift is combined with other procedures. You can go home on the day of surgery or the day following it.
This is a ‘keyhole’ operation. 3 small cuts are made in the scalp just behind the hairline. Through these cuts the whole of the forehead and brow can be freed from the underlying bone. The ‘endoscope’ is a long thin camera which allows this to be done accurately whilst protecting important nerves and blood vessels. The brow can then be slid upwards by approximately 1cm and held in its new position using a dissolving gripper. The small cuts are stitched with absorbable stitches.
What happens after the surgery?
After surgery you should plan to have a quiet week at home and aim to sleep in a propped up position during this time. You must also avoid bending over or stooping – if you need to pick something up, do this by bending the knees and keeping your head upright. This to minimise bleeding or bruising after surgery. The operation is not particularly painful in most cases although you may have a headache for a couple of days.
What problems can occur with Brow lift?
It is likely that you will have a headache for a couple of days and some bruising which will take 3 weeks to subside . Both of these symptoms are usually mild. Significant bleeding and return to the operating theatre is very unusual.
The operation stretches nerves which provide sense to your forehead and the front of the scalp. As a result, there may be some temporary numbness in these areas. This should recover in the weeks following your operation. It is possible to have some permanent numbness if one of these nerves is cut during the surgery but this is a rare occurrence. Infection is also a possibility but this is rare. It is possible for the gripper device to become loose soon after surgery and this may warrant a return to the operating theatre for reattachment.
Can the brow drop again?
Gravity and ageing are constant forces so it is possible for the brow to become heavy again but this takes many years.
What are scars like?
Scars are disguised by placing them in the hair bearing scalp. Sometimes scars can become very thickened and it is also possible that the hair growth is absent from the scar. Both these are rare occurrences. If your hairline recedes or becomes very thin in the future, scars may be visible although these would typically be mature and subtle.
Is brow lift right for me?
If you have a heavy or saggy brow or you feel you are constantly straining to keep your eyes open then a brow lift could resolve these problems for you and refresh the appearance of your eyes and forehead.