What is a brow lift?
A brow lift is the term we use to describe the surgical elevation of the eyebrow. This procedure is one of a number of facial rejuvenation techniques and is useful in the right individual.
The optimum position of the youthful eyebrow differs between men and women. Men have a more horizontal eyebrow, whilst women prefer a gentle curvilinear eyebrow line that gently slopes upwards at the level of the outer iris before curving gently downwards over the bony ridge of the brow laterally. Some women pluck parts of the brow to create this affect artificially; others go further by removing their eyebrow hair completely before painting or tattooing a brow line. A brow lift aims to provide a more natural rejuvenated appearance which adds to a more harmonious and natural appearance.
What does this involve?
The surgical technique involves a general anaesthetic. Two different techniques can be used (closed or open). The closed technique involves the use of a thin small camera (endoscope) which is introduced through small discrete incisions in the hairline or under direct vision without the camera. The forehead skin and underlying soft tissue is gently lifted off the front of the skull bone including the upper and outer bony margins around the eye, which is then elevated to a more youthful position. This is fixed in place, paying particular attention to raising the outer eyebrow. Only a few millimetres can produce a significant affect. Small drains are placed after the operation which is removed the following day before going home. Hair washing is encouraged from the second day after the procedure.
The second brow lift approach involves opening the scalp skin from one ear to the other within the hairline in order to raise the brow. This can leave significant scars on the top of the head.
When will I recover?
Following a brow lift, a degree of swelling and bruising is to be expected. This resolves quickly over 1-2 weeks. The stitches are removed at one week and the scars are very difficult to see in the closed technique described above. Brow lifting often accompanies other facial rejuvenation procedures, including eyelid surgery, face and neck lifting.
What risks should I know about?
Other than some bruising and swelling which resolve quickly, other risks can include patches of numbness to the skin which resolves spontaneously, a mild headache can occur for a few days but responds well to simple painkillers, asymmetry of the brow, and over or under correction. Again, these will be discussed carefully with you. Pain is not a significant feature of this procedure. Rarely, the scar might stretch and hair growth around the scar can temporarily stop before it resumes growth once the small scars heal over 3-4 weeks.