One of the earliest signs of aging is the drooping or lowering of the eyebrows. A brow lift is a surgical procedure to reduce the drooping and sagging of the eyebrow. This technique is ideal for patients who are primarily concerned with the sagging of their eyebrows, in contrast to upper eyelid fullness.
What is a brow lift?
A brow lift is the procedure of choice for Dr. Perron’s patients whose eyebrows are sagging, creating a perpetual tired, sad, or angry countenance. Brow lifts are different than eyelid surgery, which addresses sagging in either the upper or lower eyelids or both. Brow lifts specifically target the brows and the forehead. The goal is to smooth forehead lines and to raise the brows, giving the person a younger, more alert appearance. To do this, Dr. Perron 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. He uses different techniques depending on the individual patient’s situation.
Who is a good candidate for a brow lift?
Some degree of sagging across the brows and forehead is inevitable as a consequence of aging. Some people have a genetic disposition to sagging in this area. For some, sagging is extreme enough that it is impinging upon their field of vision. Most of Dr. Perron’s brow lift patients are between 45 and 60 years old.
If you’d like to have an easy test that can give you an idea if a brow lift would fix your perpetually tired appearance try this. Stand in front of a 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.
How is a brow lift done?
Dr. Perron uses various techniques depending on the patient’s areas of sagging. For instance, a “temporal brow lift” targets more sagging on the outer half of the brow. A “central brow lift” moves the focus to drooping of the inner brows.
These are the two basic options for a brow lift, depending on your personal situation.
- Coronal brow lift — This is also known as the “traditional” or “full” brow lift. It 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.
- Endoscopic brow lift — Thanks to continuing improvements in technology, the endoscopic brow lift is becoming the method of choice. In this method, Dr. Perron makes three to five short incisions within the hairline. An endoscope, a tiny instrument with a camera on the end, is inserted into one of the incisions. This provides excellent visuals of the area to be addressed without the need for the longer coronal incision. Tools are inserted into the other small incisions to manipulate the skin and muscles. As you would expect, there is very little scarring with this method.
During your consultation with Dr. Perron the two of you can discuss if he thinks the endoscopic method will enable the degree of correction necessary for your situation.
What is recovery from brow lift surgery like?
Your recovery will be dictated by the method Dr. Perron used for your brow lift. In either method there will be swelling and bruising, 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.
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 the tissue manipulation, but there is far less itching than with a traditional lift.
Most patients can return to work within 10 days, but heavy lifting and vigorous exercise will need to wait for around one month. You need to try and keep your blood pressure from elevating in the forehead area.
How long do the results of a brow lift last?
The changes made by Dr. Perron elevating your brows and other areas of the forehead are permanent. Unfortunately, they can’t stop the ongoing effects of aging. The goal in a brow lift is to give permanent improvement to the transverse lines and frown lines of the forehead. Aspects of a brow lift will remain. For instance, forehead lines will never again be as severe. But the brows will continue to descend with time. The average brow lift patient can expect the effects of the procedure to visibly last from 10-12 years.