As a patient ages, glabellar frown lines between the brows and horizontal wrinkles across the forehead begin to form and gradually become more pronounced. In addition, the brows may get “heavy” and droop down toward the upper eyelids. A browlift, or forehead lift, is used to minimize the appearance of skin laxity and lines around the brows and forehead. As a skilled Bay Area Plastic Surgeon, Dr. John R. Griffin can perform browlift surgery to help patients regain a more youthful appearance.
Most patients who choose to undergo a browlift have reached middle age or their senior years. However, some younger patients may also be candidates for a browlift procedure if they have deep frown lines due to stress or overactive facial muscles in that area. Ideal candidates for browlift surgery have:
- Glabellar lines, the vertical lines that appear between the eyebrows
- Forehead lines, the horizontal creases that appear on the forehead
- Sagging eyebrows that contribute to a tired or angry appearance
To be considered a good candidate for plastic surgery, patients should be in good health. Patients should also be non-smokers since tobacco products can inhibit healing and prematurely age the skin.
Patients may be best suited to one of three browlift techniques:
- Endoscopic: This technique is used to erase fine lines around the brow line and forehead. It is the least invasive of all the browlift procedures. During surgery, a series of small incisions are made in the hairline, and then an endoscope (a long thin tube with a light that is attached to a video camera) is inserted. This device allows Dr. Griffin to make fine adjustments to the underlying muscles.
- Hairline: This is the most common browlift technique. It employs the use of an incision that runs along the hairline. Once the incision is made, the skin and deeper structures are lifted away, pulled up, and excess skin from the forehead is removed. The skin is then reattached at the hairline.
- Coronal: This technique uses an incision that runs just beyond the hairline. This approach is similar to the hairline technique, except the skin that is removed is from the scalp, or hair-producing area of the forehead; because of this, the coronal approach is not ideal for patients who are losing their hair.
Browlift Procedure Steps
The browlift procedure generally takes two to three hours in the operating room. The treatment process is as follows:
- The forehead is marked with a surgical pen to indicate where adjustments will be made
- Antibacterial solution is applied to the forehead area
- The patient is put under general anesthesia
- The incision or incisions are made at or past the hairline
- The skin is separated from the underlying musculature
- The muscles are tightened with sutures
- The skin is pulled tightly over the forehead and excess skin is removed
- The incision or incisions are closed with sutures
- Medical tape and/or bandages are applied
The endoscopic procedure affords the quickest recovery time of the three browlift techniques. Still, with all three techniques, patients can expect bruising, swelling, and discomfort for the first week or two following the browlift procedure. Side effects can be reduced by keeping the head elevated. In most cases, patients return to work a week or ten days after surgery, but should refrain from engaging in strenuous exercise for six weeks after surgery.
Browlift Side Effects
The most common side effects include bruising and swelling, as well as some discomfort, itching, and numbness around the incision sites.
Although most forehead lifts are done with no resulting complications, there are always risks associated with the procedure. These include:
- Poor reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma (pooling of blood)
- Poor wound healing
- Hair loss at the incision site
- Permanent nerve damage
- A higher hairline
- Forehead asymmetry
Patients should begin to see final results after about a month, once the skin and underlying structures have settled into their new positions and all swelling has gone down. The brows will be positioned in a more youthful location, and facial creases will be smoothed out.
Schedule a browlift consultation by contacting the practice of Dr. John R. Griffin today.