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What is a Brow Lift?

Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.

A brow lift is a surgical cosmetic procedure that enhances the appearance of sagging eyebrows, deep forehead creases, and frown lines. This procedure is also known as a forehead lift. Typically, prior to the procedure, the plastic surgeon will consult with the patient to perform a physical examination of the facial structures. In addition, the physician will explain the brow lift procedure to the patient so he knows what to expect.

Typically, the brow lift procedure involves the plastic surgeon fashioning incisions in the area of the hairline. Sometimes, incisions may be required directly in the forehead, or even the eyelids. After the incisions have been made, the skin and appropriate muscles are lifted to achieve a more youthful appearance for the patient. After the procedure, the incisions are approximated and closed with inconspicuous sutures or stitches.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Generally, a brow lift is considered a safe procedure. In rare instances, complications may arise, as is the case with any surgical procedure. Some complications that may occur as a result of the brow lift procedure include excessive bleeding under the skin, which is called a hematoma, and allergic reactions from the anesthesia. Infrequently, injury or damage to underlying facial structures may occur, but these incidences are very rare and most often temporary.

The brow lift procedure is typically done in an outpatient setting. The setting may be in a hospital, a freestanding surgical center or a private clinic. After the surgery, patients are frequently up and about soon after, but it is advised that lifting or stooping be avoided until the follow-up doctor visit. After the forehead lift, the patient may experience redness, swelling and bruising at the site, which may spread to other areas of the face. This is temporary and generally fades completely after a few weeks.

Often, the patient needs only over-the-counter pain medications, such as anti-inflammatory analgesics, to alleviate the pain of the eyebrow lift. In some cases, pain may become moderate which may make sleeping a challenge. If pain becomes more intense, the physician may prescribe a stronger, narcotic-based medication to alleviate the discomfort. Prescription pain medication is very effective in reducing post surgical pain, but may produce dangerous side effects, such as extreme drowsiness and confusion.

Rarely, the cosmetic surgical patient may experience complications such as infection. If the patient experiences signs of infection, such as fever, an increase in pain, or drainage from the incision sites, he should call his physician immediately. Post operative infections require prompt medical evaluation and treatment.

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