A forehead lift or “browlift” is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes.

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.

This surgery used to involve a scar that ran along the entire hairline of the brow.

Dr. McGovern has always performed a less invasive version of this surgery called an endoscopic browlift.

This involves using an endoscope, a viewing instrument that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions. This is commonly called “keyhole surgery”.

The result of browlift surgery is smoother forehead skin and a more youthful appearance.

A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range, to minimize the visible effects of ageing. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or overactive 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.

A forehead lift can be performed on its own if your eyelid position is normal, but can also be 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 you have significant excess skin in the upper eyelids.

Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift better meets their surgical goals.

Dr. McGovern will discuss the procedure to best suit your individual needs at consultation.

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.

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.

To give you a better idea of the results that can be achieved, take a look at Dr. McGovern’s’ before and after photos in our Gallery.

Our trained staff is happy to answer any questions you may have before making a consultation with Dr. McGovern. However, only a physical examination by Dr. McGovern will determine exactly which procedure is best for you.

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.