As we age, our skin tends to lose its elasticity and begins to sag, this leads to drooping eyebrows. This can cause the eyebrow to position itself closer to the lashline reducing the space in-between and may interfere with vision. A brow lift is a surgical aesthetic procedure that raises the eyebrows and lifts the forehead, resulting in a firmer forehead and well-positioned eyebrows. This procedure also enhances a youthful appearance by reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead. Brow lifts can also be performed to correct asymmetrical eyebrows.
- Expectations – during the consultancy the patient is prompted to express their desired expectations with the surgeon and discuss its possibilities. Showing pictures of desired results is more helpful in reaching a consensus.
- Medical history – the physician will ask the patient about their past-medical history as well as family history to ensure that they are eligible to undergo the surgery. Patients with blood disorders are advised not to undergo this procedure as they are at higher risk.
- Photography – a professional will take before and after pictures in different angles to record the changes made from the procedure. The patient may also be provided with a photoshopped picture before the surgery to aid in having realistic expectations.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking a week before the procedure as it can affect the surgery and healing process.
- Medications – after reviewing the patient’s medical history, the physician may ask the patient to stop consumption of certain medicines. They include – aspirin, immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory medicine, herbal capsules, blood thinners and other anti-coagulants.
- Care – the patient will be asked to arrange for driven transport as they cannot drive post-surgery. It is also advisable to have someone at home to help a few days during recovery.
- Endoscopic brow lift: An endoscopic brow lift or laparoscopic brow lift is minimally invasive when compared to other techniques. This technique involves making two to four small incisions behind the forehead and using thin probes to complete the procedure.
The probe contains a tiny camera and light which help the surgeon to navigate via the incision. The instrument used then is inserted into the other incision and the forehead tissue is then anchored. Finally, the incisions are closed using sutures or clips.
- Coronal brow lift: This method includes making an incision on the hairline either in the front or from ear to ear. The surgeon pulls the forehead tissue and places it under the scalp and the overlapping scalp tissue is removed. The incision made is closed using sutures.
A coronal brow lift is not performed on patients with receding hairline, thin hair and possibilities of hair loss or baldness.
- Hairline brow lift: This technique consists of making an incision on the hairline and removing excess forehead tissue in place of the scalp. The incision made is closed using sutures or clips. This ensures that the hairline is not pulled back. However, a hairline brow lift may cause a visible scar in front of the hairline.
The surgeon will use a technique that suits the patient’s desired result. This can depend on factors like age, skin texture and damage incurred.
All techniques are performed while the patient is under general anaesthesia. A brow lift surgery may last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Post-surgery the treated area may be wrapped lightly with a bandage and dressing to protect the sutures. A brow lift is a permanent procedure, however, the effects will reduce as the patient ages.
Risks & recovery
- Downtime – the patient can resume normal activities in 10 to 14 days.
- Activities – there should be minimal movement for the first few days into recovery. Swimming, gymming or any strenuous exercise should be avoided until prompted by the surgeon.
- Scarring – this procedure may cause visible scarring.
- Sensation – there may be partial loss of sensation after complete healing. This can cause temporary or permanent numbness around the forehead.
- Hair – some techniques may cause a receding hairline
- General risks – surgical procedures may cause redness, bruising, bleeding, scarring and infection.
- Rest – the patient is advised to take complete rest to promote fast healing.
- Ice & compression – the wound should be compressed with an ice pack to reduce swelling. This may also help relieve pain.
- Elevation – the patient is advised to sleep in an upright and elevated position. This reduces swelling and avoids tugging / pulling.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking for up to two weeks post-treatment. Smoking can interfere with blood flow and can prolong the healing process.
- Alcohol – the patient is advised to avoid alcohol consumption for a few days as it can counteract with medications prescribed for aftercare.
- Medicines – the surgeon may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to avoid infection. They can be a combination of tablets as well as topical treatments. These medicines need to be used promptly as prescribed by the physician.
- Makeup – makeup can be used to conceal any prolonged bruising and scars post-recovery.