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Forehead Lift – Browlift

forehead-liftA forehead lift or “browlift” is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. It stops you looking tired and unhappy. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad
or tired.

In a forehead lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. The surgery is performed with the use of an endoscope, a viewing instrument that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions. This is commonly called “keyhole surgery” .

The result is smoother forehead skin and a more youthful appearance. If you’re considering a forehead lift, this website will provide a basic understanding of the procedure, when it can help, how it’s performed and what results you can expect. It won’t answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances.

A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range, to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or over active muscles. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure.

Forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the face. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a forehead lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids. Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper-eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift better meets their surgical goals.

Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper eyelid surgery may still be good candidates for forehead lift. Your surgeon will simply alter the incision location or perform a more conservative operation.

Remember, a forehead lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them in detail with your surgeon.

Complications are rare and usually minor when a forehead lift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Yet, the possibility of complications must be considered.

In rare cases, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be bruised on one side, resulting in a temporary loss of ability to raise the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead for up to 3 months. Permanent injury to this nerve occurs in less than 1 in 1000 cases however, additional surgery may be required to correct the problem.

Formation of a broad scar is also a rare complication. This may be treated surgically by removing the wide scar tissue so a new, thinner scar may result. Also, in some patients, hair loss may occur along the scar edges.

Loss of sensation across part of the forehead is also rare. Infection and bleeding are rare, but are possibilities.

If a major complication should occur during an endoscopic forehead lift, your surgeon may have to abandon the endoscopic approach and switch to the conventional, open procedure, which will result in a more extensive scar and a longer recovery period. Such complications are rare, much less than 1 percent of all endoscopy procedures.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.

For a better understanding of how a forehead lift might change your appearance, look into a mirror and place your fingers above each eyebrow. Lift the eyebrows upward to what appears the most attractive level. That is approximately what a forehead lift would do for you.

If you decide to consult your surgeon, he will first evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and your pattern of facial aging.

During your consultation, he will discuss your goals for the surgery and ask you about certain medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to develop large scars. Be sure to tell him if you have had previous facial surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any medications. Your surgeon will explain the surgical technique, the recommended type of anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, the risks and the costs involved. Don’t hesitate to ask him any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results of surgery.


surgeryYour surgeon will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking and avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery and your recovery proceed more smoothly.

If your hair is very short, you may wish to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars while they heal.

You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two.

A forehead lift is usually performed at a hospital with an overnight stay. However, it is occasionally done on a day – patient basis. The procedure can be performed at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, Sunshine Coast Day Surgery, Caloundra Private Hospital or Noosa Private Hospital

Your surgeon prefers to use general anaesthesia, in which case you’ll sleep through the entire operation. Surgery can be done under local anaesthesia and sedation, but is typically much less comfortable for you.

We will help you decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals: the classic or “open” method, or the endoscopic forehead lift. Nowadays, almost all problems except for bony recontouring of the forehead can be dealt with endoscopically. Make sure you understand the technique that is recommended and why it is best for you.

An endoscopic forehead lift does not require any shaving of your hair at all.

Rather than making one long coronal (headphone) incision, your surgeon will make three short scalp incisions, each approximately 2cm in length. These scars are small and easy to conceal, even in partially bald men. An endoscope, which is a pencil-like camera device connected to a television monitor, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. The endoscope is less than 5mm in width.

Using another instrument inserted through the same or a different incision, the forehead skin is lifted and the muscles and underlying tissues are removed or altered to produce a smoother appearance. The eyebrows will also be lifted and secured into their higher position by temporary fixation screws placed behind the hairline.

When the lift is complete, the scalp incisions will be closed with clips and the area will be washed. No dressings are required.

recoveryThe immediate postoperative experience for a patient who has had a classic forehead lift may differ significantly from a patient who had the procedure performed endoscopically.

Endoscopic forehead lift patients may experience some temporary numbness, incision discomfort and mild swelling.

Incision site pain is usually minimal, but can be controlled with medication, if necessary. Endoscopic forehead lift patients usually experience less of the itching sensation felt by patients who have had the classic forehead lift. The staples used to close the incisions are usually removed within a week or 10 days and the temporary fixation screws within two weeks. The brow is often numb for up to six months after surgery. Therefore removal of these staples and screws is painless.

Classic forehead lift patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication.

You may be told to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to keep the swelling down. Swelling may also affect the cheeks and eyes.

As the nerves heal, numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to fully disappear and some permanent numbness is usual. Most clips will be removed within two weeks, sometimes in two stages.

Some of your hair around the incision may fall out and may temporarily be a bit thinner. Normal growth will usually resume within a few weeks or months. Permanent hair loss is rare.

Although you should be up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days.

Most patients are back to work in a week to 10 days, once the bruising has subsided Vigorous physical activity should limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.

Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within about three weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with special camouflage makeup. You may feel a bit tired at first, but your energy level will increase as you begin to look and feel better.

Most patients are pleased with the results of a forehead lift, no matter which surgical method was used. Endoscopic forehead lift is a major advance in technique and these patients obtain vast improvement with minimal scars. Often, patients don’t realize how much their sagging forehead contributed to the signs of aging until they see how much younger and more rested they appear after the lift.

Although a forehead lift does not stop the clock, it can minimize the appearance of aging for many years. As time passes, you may want to repeat the procedure.

If you have further questions, write them down and ask your surgeon and his helpful staff at your consultation.