A Brow Lift is a subtle lifting of the skin of the forehead, sometimes combined with other facial procedures to give a more youthful, open, and positive appearance to the upper part of the face. A ‘brow lift’ or ‘forehead’ lift can restore a more youthful look to the area above and around the eyes as well. The muscles and tissues that cause furrowing or drooping are sometimes weakened or altered to raise the eyebrows, smooth the forehead and reduce frown lines and crow’s feet.
What Type of Brow Lifts do you Perform?
Endoscopic Brow Lift
Some surgeons used to make a ‘headphone’ incision hidden just behind the hairline (the ‘open’ method) but this approach has been largely abandoned by most modern surgeons in favor of the ENDOSCOPIC TECHNIQUE. Using an endoscope, a viewing instrument that requires only minimal incisions, Dr. Coville is able to perform the entire operation though a few half-inch incisions hidden behind the hairline. No hair need be shaved off and the scars heal imperceptibly. This ‘scarless’ upper facial rejuvenation has proved extremely popular both as an adjunct to other facial surgery and as a stand-alone procedure.
Lateral Brow Lift
Because even the endoscopic technique may be more surgery than is necessary, Dr. Fred Coville sought to improve his results to achieve even more natural results with less surgery. The secret to a youthful female eyebrow is that the “lateral” or tail of the eyebrow (the part of the eyebrow furthest from the nose) is higher than the part of the eyebrow closest to the nose (the medial brow). Using sophisticated techniques that Dr. Fred learned in Europe, he now prefers this unique procedure that elevates that portion of the brow while leaving the inner eyebrow in its natural position. The result is a beautiful and elegant youthful eyebrow that restores your Foundational Beauty.
Non-surgical Brow Lift
The non-surgical approach to rejuvenation of the upper face is has become very popular and is a technique in which Dr. Fred excels. Wrinkle-relaxing injections, such as Botox or Dysport to the forehead muscles and between the eyes, sometimes coupled with an upper eyelid lift can be another option. This injectable approach is excellent to smooth the wrinkles of the forehead, those between the eyes, and the “crow’s feet” by the corners of the eyes. Dr. Fred can even elevate the lateral eyebrow slightly with injections in just the right spot to give a more youthful appearance. The Botox or Dysport injections are relatively painless, quick, and give temporary relaxation of the muscles that smooth wrinkles for about 4 months. If the upper eyelids are heavy with excess skin and/or fat, then combining an eyelid lift with Botox or Dysport may give results approaching those of a forehead lift with less downtime and a simpler procedure. The disadvantage of this procedure is the fact that Botox and Dysport must be repeated about twice a year in order to maintain your results.What can and should be done in your case will depend on a consultation with Dr. Fred Coville. (Please refer to The Cornerstone Experience). However, the following introductory paragraphs will, we hope, be helpful.
Is a Brow Lift Right for You?
Forehead lifts are most commonly performed for people aged over 40. However, they can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines through stress or over activity of the underlying muscle. Forehead lifts are often performed in conjunction with facelifts and/or eyelid surgery, especially where a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper lids. Sometimes a forehead lift solves the upper eyelid problem alone. The process can make you look younger and so may enhance your self-confidence, but remember it can’t alter your appearance completely or give you back your youth. Please discuss your expectations thoroughly with your Dr. Fred Coville before going ahead. Also, keep in mind that some of your goals might be accomplished through some of our non-surgical techniques such as botulinum toxin injections, fillers and skin rejuvenation. You will have a frank and open discussion with Dr. Fred to determine whether you would be best served by a brow lift, a non-surgical approach, or by a combination of the two.
Are There Any Risks?
By choosing a well-qualified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Fred Coville and any complications are likely to be minor. However, because individuals vary greatly in their reactions and in their ability to heal, outcomes are never completely predictable. Rarely, after a brow lift, nerve injury may impair the ability to raise eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead. Hair may be lost along scar edges, which is one reason why the ‘open’ method has been largely abandoned. Some numbness in the scalp may occur. Usually this is temporary, but may be permanent in some patients. Infection and bleeding are both possible but such complications are very rare – estimated at less than one percent of all endoscopy procedures. You can reduce your risk of complications by always following our instructions closely.
During your initial consultation Dr. Coville will examine your forehead thoroughly, including the skin and the underlying bone and tissue, and agree to realistic goals and expectations with you. He will ask about any medical conditions that could cause problems during or after surgery, such as high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or any tendency to form excessive scars. Be frank with him about smoking and any drugs or medications you are taking – aspirin for example can affect clotting. Dr. Fred may decide to have some laboratory testing done if he feels it is appropriate. He will explain fully the techniques and the anesthesia he will use, where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about discomfort, healing time and so on.
It’s important you follow the instructions given to you at Cornerstone Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine on how to prepare for surgery. They may cover eating, drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. If you are a smoker, it is especially important that you stop at least four to six weeks before and after surgery. If there is any question as to your smoking, Dr. Coville may order some laboratory tests to determine your nicotine levels prior to surgery. Remember, smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing. If your hair is very short, you might want to grow it out before surgery, so that that it is long enough to hide any incisions while they heal. Even as an outpatient, arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two afterwards.
Whether an endoscopic or lateral brow lift approach is chosen, the hair is tied back from the intended incisions behind the hairline. No hair will be shaved. Dr. Coville will make not one long incision but two or three short ones in the scalp. An endoscope, a pencil-thin camera device connected to a television monitor, may then be inserted through each incision in turn, so that the he can see the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. Eyebrows may also be lifted slightly and then secured in place for a lasting lift. After the incisions have been meticulously closed with sutures, Dr. Coville may decide to use no dressings at all, or he might cover the incision with gauze padding and wrap the head in elastic bandage for a time. He will decide this depending on other procedures he may perform at the same time. With high or receding hairlines, the incision may be made along the actual hairline to avoid adding even more height to the forehead. For patients who are bald or have thin hair, other incisions are likely to be chosen and decided upon with you in advance. These will be the best place for making any resulting scars the least visible.
Forehead lift patients may experience numbness and temporary discomfort, which can be reduced by prescription medication. You may be told to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to control swelling. Any swelling that affects the cheeks and eyes should begin to disappear in a week or so. Itching may replace numbness along the scars as the nerves heal and may take several months to completely disappear. Any bandages can come off a day or two after surgery and most stitches will be gone within ten days. Some hair around the incision may fall out and may temporarily be a bit thinner but normal growth will usually resume within a few weeks or months. Serious permanent hair loss is rare.
Post-operative care is a key part of Dr. Fred Coville’s work. Follow his advice. Although you should be up and moderately active 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 or school in a week to ten days. All strenuous activity (sexual relations, heavy housework, aerobics) should be avoided for at least two weeks; but walking and mild stretching exercises are fine. By ten to fourteen days after surgery, most patients can return to work. Most visible signs of surgery will be gone after about three weeks and special camouflage make-up can mask anything that remains. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better but may still tire easily. For several weeks avoid alcohol, steam baths, and saunas. For several months limit your exposure to strong sunlight.
Most patients are extremely pleased especially with Dr. Fred Coville’s advanced modern methods. Patients often don’t realize how old their sagging, frowning forehead has made them look until they see how much younger they appear after the lift. This procedure does not stop you aging, of course, but it can help you look younger, feel brighter, and more optimistic.