Brow lift surgery, also referred to as a forehead lift or upper facelift, is a facial cosmetic surgery that can restore a youthful, refreshed look to the face. This surgery will address a drooping brow and horizontal wrinkles of the forehead, as well as the appearance of hooded eyelids. Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Schoenfeld is the founder of Renu Artful Medicine, as well as Chevy Chase, Maryland’s resident expert in brow lift surgery.
It is often as people grow older that they begin to notice the position of the brow has lowered and the upper eyelid skin appears crinkled and loose. An unfortunate reality is that the natural byproduct of advancing in years is the physical aging process. In addition, genetic factors and conditions like sun damage can further contribute to a sagging brow and aging skin.
Why Undergo a Brow Lift?
Brow lift surgery addresses three main aesthetic concerns: the position of the eyebrows, lines on the forehead, and upper eyelid skin.
- Eyebrow Position. The eyebrows serve as an important feature that frames the face. In fact, the eyebrows can dramatically alter a person’s looks. As people age, the eyebrows tend to lose their arches and appear flat in shape. Patients often complain that they look as though they are scowling or that the lack of space between the eyebrows and eyes creates a darkness around the eyes. By repositioning the eyebrows with brow lift surgery, the entire face can appear lifted, even if only the upper third of the face was modified. Dr. Schoenfeld can strategically suture the skin into a new position to provide patients with their requested improvements.
- Forehead Lines and Wrinkles. The two main types of visible lines that appear on the forehead are horizontal and vertical wrinkles. While vertical lines may be improved following brow lift surgery, they are often better addressed with other procedures such as the facelift, injectable fillers, or skin resurfacing treatments. The brow lift aims to correct horizontal lines that form on the forehead, and it is an effective solution for a wrinkled brow.
- Upper Eyelid Skin. Lastly, the eyelids can be dramatically improved through brow lift surgery. Patients may complain of a small appearance of the eyes. Brow lift surgery widens the distance between the eyebrows and the eyes, which helps a person to appear more rested and alert. The extra skin of the eyelids is stretched slightly taught to create a more youthful lid.
Who is a Good Candidate for the Brow Lift?
Anyone experiencing a loss of elasticity in the upper face and eyebrows may benefit from the forehead lift procedure. These issues may present as frown lines across the bridge of the nose or in between the eyebrows, and sagging eyebrows. The surgery is suitable for both women and men. The average brow lift patient is between 40 and 65 years of age with noticeable changes in the tone and texture of the facial skin, especially between the upper eyelids and the hairline. Potential candidates should be in good overall health to ensure their safety and optimal outcome. Patients who are accepted for brow lift often request to look younger but must also be aware of the limitations of the procedure and facial plastics in general.
The Brow Lift Procedure
Brow Lift requires only intravenous or twilight anesthesia, where a patient will not be fully unconscious but heavily sedated and unaware of the procedure. They can expect to be under for about one to three hours, depending on the complexity of the case and whether or not the patient requested additional procedures during treatment time.
Like all facial plastic surgeries, forehead lift techniques are completely customizable and will be discussed during the initial doctor-patient consultation. This ensures that the patient is able to provide direction for their aesthetic outcome with the guidance of an expert. The two most commonly performed techniques for brow lift include the coronal brow lift and the endoscopic brow lift.
The coronal brow lift offers a traditional approach to surgery. Dr. Schoenfeld creates an incision from one ear to the next, hidden within the hairline. The doctor exposes underlying tissues and adjusts the position of the muscles and removes extra skin. Remaining tissue is then anchored in place and the incision is sutured.
The less invasive version of the brow lift is performed endoscopically through small surgical cuts in the scalp. An endoscope (a small camera) allows Dr. Schoenfeld to visualize tissue on a high-tech screen. He can create modifications of the muscles and excess skin without the need for a larger incision. An endoscopic brow lift results in a less extensive recovery period than the original surgery.
Brow Lift Recovery
Dr. Schoenfeld’s forehead lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis so patients are discharged to recover in the comfort of their own home. An aftercare team will assist with their immediate needs and ensure they are well enough to be cared for by a family member or friend at home. Patients can expect some degree of swelling and bruising which may take about two weeks to resolve. Some temporary discomfort can also be expected. Most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities after one to two weeks.
Dr. Schoenfeld, I just returned from a weekend in NY with my daughter. It's been a month since her surgery and I haven't seen her in 3 weeks. I'm "amazed" by the results. Better yet, she's beyond thrilled...and she's a tough critic. You delivered EVERYTHING you said you could do and more!!!!
A number of patients seek to undergo total facial rejuvenation, while others have specific areas they would like Dr. Schoenfeld to focus on treating. Some request a brow lift and no other cosmetic work. Facial plastic surgeries are tailored on an individual basis and can cater to each patient’s own needs. Often times, the brow lift is performed along with facelift surgery, which is typical of older patients or those with more extensive aesthetic concerns. Brow lift can also be coupled with blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery of the upper or lower eyelids. This combination primarily treats the top one-third region of the face. Noninvasive treatments, such as the use of Botox Cosmetic injections or facial fillers, can also expand and maintain the brow lift’s exceptional results.
FAQs about Brow Lift
What is the recovery period like for brow lift surgery?
Patients will return home with bandages covering the surgical site that can be removed in three days. Dr. Schoenfeld’s patients will return to the office about one week to 10 days after undergoing the brow lift to have their sutures removed. This will also allow the doctor to check on the healing process. Patients may notice bruising and swelling, but these side effects can be minimized by keeping the head elevated, using a cold compress, and taking the prescribed medications. Most of this will have subsided following the second week of recuperation. Some discomfort is associated with the procedure, mainly mild pain, tightness, and itching, which is temporary.
Patients can expect one to two weeks of downtime to recover from the procedure. Strenuous activities should be postponed for three to four weeks. Because the tissue will be sensitive, patients must avoid unprotected sun exposure for at least two months.
Will brow lift surgery leave scarring?
Visible scarring can remain after complete healing from the procedure. Dr. Schoenfeld takes this into account during the surgery and camouflages incisions within the hair of the scalp or natural facial creases. The doctor has over twenty years of experience performing the procedure, and he an offer in-depth explanations of his techniques during a personalized meeting.
Are there any risks associated with the brow lift?
There are inherent risks in any surgery, and cosmetic procedures are not exempt from this general rule. That being said, the brow lift is minimally invasive and is performed with intravenous or twilight anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. Patients should know that there is always the possibility of complications, although they are very rare. These can include heavy bleeding, infection, scars, and nerve damage in the eye area. Dr. Schoenfeld takes every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of his patients. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is regarded as one of the top cosmetic surgeons of the Washington, D.C. area.
How long do results last?
The goal of this procedure is to erase 10 to 15 years off a person’s appearance and restore vitality to the upper third of the face. If patients lead a healthy lifestyle (including regular use of sunscreen) and opt for maintenance procedures, like injectable fillers, fat injections or laser skin rejuvenation, the effects may be prolonged. While the brow lift addresses a lowered brow and hooded upper eyelids as well as facial creases across the forehead and nose, it cannot prevent future aging from occurring. Gravity and the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin are largely responsible for this natural process.
Schedule a Brow Lift Consultation with Philip S. Schoenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Prospective patients can contact the resident physician of Renu Artful Medicine in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to schedule a private consultation and discuss cosmetic improvements of the forehead area. The doctor will perform a physical examination to evaluate each patient’s anatomy and the condition of the skin, and listen to his or her concerns. Dr. Schoenfeld remains current in the technological advances of facial aesthetic medicine and provides numerous surgical and non-surgical options to achieve the desired results. Computer imaging plays a role in the initial meeting to provide a visual aid of potential changes.
Call Renu of Chevy Chase, Maryland, at 301.652.7368, or fill out the Email Contact Form.