Quick Facts About Browlift

Average Treatment Cost: $3,000–$8,000
Procedure Time: 1–3 hours
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient
Anesthesia: Local with sedation or general
Recovery Time: 10 days; strenuous activity 3–4 weeks
Duration of Results: Long-lasting
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What you should know

What Is A Browlift

Also known as a forehead lift, a browlift is a surefire way to elevate the eyebrows to a more youthful position. The procedure can also decrease forehead lines and crow’s-feet and may diminish any hooding that might be occurring in the upper lid area. 

In most cases, a browlift is performed using an endoscope—a special surgical tool that has a video camera at the end. When an endoscope is used the incision is made in the hairline so that any scars will be almost undetectable once you are fully healed. The advantage of using an endoscope is that it allows your surgeon to manipulate the tissue and muscle without having to make large incisions. 

Another benefit to the endoscopic browlift is the need for only local anesthesia with sedation.

If you have a low forehead or deep sagging that cannot be corrected without reducing excess skin, a traditional browlift, which uses a full or partial coronal incision across the crown of the head, within or at the hairline, may be in order.

Surgical Browlift

A surgical browlift eliminates forehead lines by directly addressing the underlying muscles that create wrinkles, furrows and the “hood” that comes from excess skin on the forehead due to normal aging and loss of collagen or elasticity.

Depending on the severity of your brow line issue, your surgeon can take one of two common approaches:

  • Open – requires making an incision across the crown of the head or just within the hairline (which is necessary if excess skin will be removed and there is already a high forehead); it is also called the coronal approach,
  • Endoscopic – this browlift procedure utilizes the assistance of a surgical scope through small incisions at the temples, within the hairline and sometimes in the upper eyelid crease.

Within a week or less, you’ll see a higher, more youthful-looking brow, and after about two to four weeks of initial swelling, the brow settles and begins to look more natural with a more youthful line.

An endoscopic browlift can reposition eyebrows that are too low and bring them back to a more natural point. (Eyebrows that are naturally too high are a rare occurrence.)

Even by lifting just the tail end of the brow, the brows are elevated ever so slightly, which leads to a sexier shape. The procedure adds more of an arch to the brow line and may also fix asymmetrical eyebrows.

You will look 10 years younger when your eyebrows are positioned to an elevated and feminine position. Repositioned eyebrows give a younger, fresher appearance because the eyes look wider and more alert.

“The endoscope magnifies the tissues so the doctor can see them better,” says Salt Lake City, UT, plastic surgeon Renato Saltz, MD. “And because it’s less invasive than traditional browlift surgery, the scars are smaller.”

Dr. Renato Saltz believes the mid-facelift and endoscopic browlift fit well with contemporary theories in facial aging.

“Using a combination of a facelift with a browlift can rejuvenate the entire face,” says Ellicott City, MD, plastic surgeon Daniel Markmann, MD.

To determine if an endoscopic browlift is right for you, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. 

Browlift Using Injectables

Those seeking a quick and easy improvement (that can be, in some, less dramatic) improvement in the overall look of their brows can choose from a variety of different injectables. For minimal tweaking—best suited for those without heavy lids—Botox is a good choice. “By injecting Botox into the muscles that pull the eyebrows down, the muscles are weakened, and the eyebrows are lifted,” says New York oculoplastic surgeon Joseph Eviatar, MD. “The goal is to retrain the muscles to reshape the brow over time.” 

Fillers used off-label such as Juvéderm and Radiesse can help lift the tail of the brow, while Sculptra may be used on those with deep hollowness to correct the shape. “It all depends on how much correction is needed,” Dr. Joseph Eviatar says. “These are noninvasive procedures and can be refined over time as the patient ages.”  

Botox injections are great for stopping crow’s-feet, the vertical frown lines between the brows. Botox can also be used as an “injectable browlift” to slightly elevate the brow and eliminate horizontal lines across the forehead to help the upper face look younger and more relaxed.

The treatment takes mere minutes and results last three to four months on average. Many plastic surgeons consider Botox to be an integral part of a surgical browlift, since its use before surgery can help relax the muscles and facilitate healing.

Strategically placed Botox injections can give your brows a subtle yet temporary lift—with none of the recovery or downtime associated with surgery.

Botox is not only a treatment to fix eyebrow and brow line signs of aging, but can also possibly delay the need for browlift surgery. “I am old enough to remember when we didn’t have Botox and surgeons did 10 times as many browlifts as we do today,” says Laguna Beach, CA, plastic surgeon Daniel Mills, MD. 

Who it is for

If you have one or more of the following conditions, you’d be a good candidate for a browplasty or forehead lift:

  • Sagging or low position of the eyebrows
  • A “hooded” eyebrow
  • Deep furrows across the forehead
  • Frown lines, or furrows, between the eyebrows

Gravity impacts eyebrow shape and position causing the brow line to sag, which gives a more tired appearance to the face and eyes.

There are many different variations of the forehead lift procedure that improve the position and shape of the eyebrow and forehead areas and can reverse signs of aging.

Who it is not for

Those who aren’t experiencing sagging of the brow.

What to Expect

About 10 days after surgery, the majority of the swelling and bruising should have gone down and you’ll be able to notice a more refreshed appearance.

“After about two to three weeks of initial swelling, the brow settles and begins to look more natural,” says Salt Lake City, UT, plastic surgeon Renato Saltz, MD. Some patients complain of mild headaches post-op, but these are well managed by medication and usually subside after a couple of weeks.

After intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is administered, your surgeon makes the incisions to address the muscles and move the brows to a more desirable position.

You may be instructed to wear a tight pressure dressing around your brow area for the first two or three days after surgery, and during the next few days any bruising and swelling should begin to improve. 

Inside Tips

These days many doctors may recommend a Botox treatment to relax brow line muscles before and after surgery to further enhance results.

Here are five top questions you should ask your doctor about browlifts:

  • Do you perform endoscopic techniques or recommend a form of coronal incision?
  • What is your experience with these techniques?
  • Where will the incisions and resulting scars be located?
  • Will a browlift alone achieve my goals?
  • What type of anesthesia do you recommend and who will administer it?

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