Drooping brows and frown lines can be discouraging, especially if the rest of your face appears youthful and lifted. In these cases, a brow lift can help you look and feel younger by eliminating sagging eyebrows and smoothing frown lines. Patients from the Canton, Cleveland and Akron areas turn to Dr. Steven Carp of Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center in Green and Beachwood, OH, to achieve spectacular results.
What is a Brow Lift?
A forehead lift, also known as a “brow lift,” is a cosmetic procedure designed to restore the area above your eyes to a more refreshed, youthful look. This increasingly popular procedure lifts up drooping brows and improves the creases and horizontal lines that make individuals appear tired, angry, or sad.
With a forehead lift, the tissues and muscles responsible for the drooping, creases, and lines on a person’s brow are altered or removed, resulting in raised eyebrows, a smoother forehead, and fewer frown lines. Dr. Carp may opt for a conventional surgical procedure, in which an incision is covered by the hairline. He may also opt for the endoscopic method, which uses an endoscope for minimal incisions. Both types of procedures are quite common and result in a smoother and more youthful- looking forehead.
If you’re considering whether or not a forehead lift is right for you, the information below will provide you with a solid understanding of the benefits of the procedure, how it works, and the results you should expect. You may be left with some unanswered questions; if so, Dr. Carp can answer those questions during your initial consultation.
The Best Candidates for a Forehead Lift
Most forehead lifts are performed on individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 to lessen the visible effects of aging. That being said, the procedure can help people of all ages minimize frown lines and creases caused by stress or muscle movement. People with inherited conditions such as furrows above the nose or a heavy brow can also utilize the procedure to achieve a more youthful and refreshed look.
Forehead lifts are often performed alongside facelifts to provide people with a smoother and more youthful appearance overall. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be performed at the same time as well, which takes care of any skin that hangs over the upper eyelid. However, some patients desiring upper-eyelid surgery discover that a forehead lift is actually a better option.
Balding patients, those with receding hairlines, and people who have previously undergone upper eyelid surgery do not necessarily have to worry about visible scarring. In such cases, Dr. Carp may move the location of the incision or opt for a more conservative procedure.
A forehead lift will enhance your facial appearance and potentially boost your self-confidence. However, it may not cause others to treat you any differently. Before deciding on whether or not to undergo the procedure, you should carefully consider your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Carp.
Planning Your Brow Lift Surgery
To better understand how a brow lift or forehead lift will enhance your appearance, place your hands above your eyebrows right at the outer edges of your eyes. Now, gently pull the skin upward to lift the forehead and brow area. This will give you an approximate idea of what the procedure will do for your appearance.
When you consult with Dr. Carp, he will begin by examining your facial structure, skin, and underlying bone. During the consultation, you will talk about your goals and reasons for having the surgery. Dr. Carp will also ask you about specific medical conditions that could potentially pose problems during or following the procedure, such as blood-clotting issues, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a propensity for developing large scars. It’s also important to tell Dr. Carp about the following:
- Any drugs or medications you are currently taking that may affect blood clotting
- Your tobacco usage
- Previous facial surgeries you may have had
If you choose to move forward with a forehead lift procedure, Dr. Carp will discuss the surgical technique he will use, the recommended anesthesia, and the costs associated with the surgery. It’s important to ask any questions you may have about the procedure, including those related to your expectations and any concerns you may have about the post-surgery results.
Preparing for Your Brow Lift Surgery
You will be provided with specific instructions to help you prepare for your forehead lift procedure, including dietary guidelines, smoking guidelines, and rules on medications and vitamins to take or avoid. These instructions should be carefully followed to have the surgery and recovery proceed as smoothly as possible.
If you have short hair, it may be a good idea to let it grow out prior to surgery so it will be able to hide the surgical scars as they heal.
Whether you have the procedure done in the hospital or at an outpatient facility, someone else should be available to drive you home afterward and help you at home for a couple of days.
Types of Anesthesia
The majority of forehead lift procedures take place under local anesthesia along with a sedative for relaxation. Therefore, you will be awake and somewhat alert but will feel drowsy and relaxed. Although you may feel some slight discomfort and tugging, you’ll feel no pain.
General anesthesia may also be an option. If this is the case, you’ll sleep comfortably throughout the entire procedure.
Your Brow Lift Surgery
Together, you and Dr. Carp will decide on the best surgical approach to achieve your goals. Whether you opt for an endoscopic forehead lift or the classic “open” method, you should understand the surgical technique recommended by Dr. Carp and the reasons why he feels it is the best method for you.
Classic forehead lift: Prior to the operation, you will have rubber bands tie your hair where the incision will be made. While you will not need to have your head shaved, you may need to have the hair trimmed that is growing directly in front of the incision area.
A coronal incision, which starts at ear level and runs around the top of the forehead to the other ear in a headphone-like pattern, is used for most forehead lift patients. The incision is typically made behind the hairline, making the scar invisible.
If you have a high or receding hairline, Dr. Carp may make the incision right at the hairline to avoid raising your forehead further. Patients who are losing hair or balding often have an incision made mid-scalp, following their skull’s natural pattern. Most scars become rather inconspicuous simply by wearing your hair down over the forehead. Male patients with hairstyles that don’t do an adequate job of concealing the incision sometimes require special planning.
While the incision is being made, the forehead skin is gently lifted, allowing for the removal of underlying tissue. The eyebrows are often elevated as well, and any excess skin at the point of incision is carefully trimmed to create a much smoother and refreshingly youthful appearance.
Afterward, the incision is closed up with clips or stitches, your hair and face will be cleaned, and the rubber bands in your hair will be removed. Dr. Carp may then place gauze padding over the incision and bandage your head.
Endoscopic forehead lift: The preparation steps for the classic forehead lift and the endoscopic forehead lift are typically the same. Thus, the hair is rubber banded and trimmed at the point of incision.
However, instead of undergoing a single long coronal incision, you will have three to five short scalp incisions, each of which will be less than an inch long. A pen-like camera device, known as an endoscope, is then inserted into one of the incisions to provide Dr. Carp with a clear view of the facial tissues and muscles underneath the skin. Another instrument is inserted through a different incision to lift the forehead skin and allow for the underlying tissues and muscles to be altered or removed. The eyebrows may be lifted as well and secured into their raised position via sutures beneath the skin or temporary screws inserted behind the hairline.
When the procedure is finished, the incisions are closed with clips or stitches and the entire area is washed. Gauze or a bandage wrap may be placed over the incisions as well.
After Your Brow Lift Surgery
A patient who undergoes a classic forehead lift may have a significantly different experience immediately following surgery than a patient who had an endoscopic procedure.
In addition to numbness, patients who undergo a classic forehead lift may experience some temporary discomfort along the incision area. However, this discomfort can be controlled with prescription medication. As a preventative measure, headache-prone patients may be given additional local anesthesia, which lasts longer and increases post-operative fatigue.
Some patients must elevate their heads for up to three days after their surgery to minimize swelling. Sometimes, swelling in the eyes and cheeks also takes place, but it typically begins to disappear after one week.
Numbness is often replaced by itching on the top of the scalp as a patient’s nerves heal. These itching sensations can take up to six months to completely disappear. If Dr. Carp uses bandages, they will be removed only one or two days after surgery. The staples or stitches, on the other hand, will be removed in approximately two weeks. Sometimes, these are removed in two stages.
Due to the trauma to the area, some of the hair surrounding the incision may be thinner or fall out. However, normal hair growth usually resumes in less than three months. Although it is extremely rare, a small minority of patients experience no further fair growth in the area.
Patients who undergo an endoscopic forehead lift may experience some numbness, mild swelling, and discomfort around the incision area.
Discomfort at the incision sites is typically minimal and, if necessary, can be controlled with prescription medication. Endoscopic patients usually feel less of an itching sensation on their scalp as well.
While the temporary fixation screws are usually removed within two weeks, the staples or stitches are generally removed within one week.
How Much Does a Brow Lift Cost?
Brow lifts are considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make brow lifts affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Getting Back to Normal
You’ll likely be moving around freely in a day or two, but it will be important to take it easy for a minimum of one week after surgery. However, within two days, you’ll likely be able to take a shower and shampoo your hair.
Many patients are able to return to work or school in under 10 days. In fact, most endoscopic patients find themselves ready to get back to life as normal even sooner. That being said, any vigorous physical activity that will increase your blood pressure should be limited for a number of weeks. You should limit your sun or heat exposure for several months as well.
In approximately three weeks, most of the surgical scars and visible signs of the procedure should completely fade away. Any minor bruising or swelling can be easily concealed with special makeup designed for such surgeries. It’s natural to feel a little let down or tired at first, but as you begin looking and feeling better, your energy and self-esteem levels will rise.
Your New Look
An overwhelming majority of patients are happy with the results of their forehead lift, regardless of which surgical method is used. Many patients don’t even realize how their drooping brow contributed to their aged look until witnessing how much more refreshed, rested, and younger they look after the procedure.
While a forehead lift doesn’t stop the hands of time, it can dramatically minimize the signs of aging for years to come. With time, you may find yourself repeating the procedure to maintain a youthful appearance.
Give your eyes and forehead a refreshed appearance by undergoing a brow lift performed by Dr. Steven Carp of Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center. Patients in and around Akron, Cleveland or Canton are encouraged to contact his Green or Beachwood, OH clinics today.