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A browlift or forehead lift is a surgical procedure that can minimize the lines that develop across the forehead, or those that occur high on the bridge of the nose. It removes excess fat and skin and tightens the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows and remove deep furrows between the eyes. It is often done along with a facelift, for a smoother facial appearance.
There are two types of forehead lift surgery, the classic brow lift and the endoscopic browlift:
Classic or coronal browlift. The surgeon makes a cut or incision that starts at about ear level and goes across the top of the forehead to the other ear. In some cases, the surgeon may place the incision at the hairline. The surgeon then carefully lifts the skin of the forehead and removes any excess tissue and fat. If needed, the surgeon realigns the muscles. During the procedure, the eyebrows may also be placed at a higher level. Any excess skin is trimmed.
Endoscopic browlift. The difference between this method and the classic forehead lift is the size of the incision. With the endoscopic forehead lift, the surgeon makes 3 to 5 short scalp incisions that are each less than 1 inch long. A thin tube called an endoscope is then inserted through 1 of the incisions. This tube has a small camera on one end, so the surgeon can see the muscles and tissues underneath. Then the surgeon places another tool that can lift the forehead skin into a different incision. Excess tissue and fat are then removed. If needed, muscles are realigned. Like the classic forehead lift, the eyebrows may also be placed at a higher level. There is minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time than the classic forehead lift.
Any surgery has risks. Possible complications that may happen with a brow lift include:
Scar formation. In rare cases, you may have a scar. Surgery can be done to remove the wide scar tissue. This allows a new, thinner scar to appear.
Eyebrow movement problems. Also rare, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured. You may not be able to raise your eyebrows or wrinkle your forehead. Surgery may be needed to fix this problem.
Hair loss. You may have hair loss over the scar or just surrounding the scar.
Sensation loss. It’s common to lose feeling around the incision. This happens most often with the classic forehead lift. It is often short-term, but can be permanent.
Problems during the procedure. During an endoscopic forehead lift, there is a slight chance of problems that could cause the surgeon to switch to the classic forehead lift. This can cause a larger scar and a longer recovery time.
Suitable candidates for a browlift
A brow lift can help people of any age who have furrows or frown lines. These may be caused by stress or muscle activity. Or they may be caused by inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose. But this procedure is most often done on people ages 40 to 60, to reduce the visible signs of aging.
- you are physically healthy
- you don't smoke
- you have a positive outlook and realistic goals for what can be accomplished through surgery