Forehead Lift

A forehead lift or "brow lift" is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. In a forehead lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines.

The incision is hidden behind the hairline. A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure.

For a better understanding of how a forehead lift might change your appearance, look into a mirror and place the palms of your hands at the outer edges of your eyes, above your eyebrows. Gently draw the skin up to raise the brow and the forehead area. That is approximately what a forehead lift would do for you.

If your hair is very short, you may wish to let it grow out before surgery, so that it's long enough to hide the scars while they heal. Forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the face. Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a forehead lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids. Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift better meets their surgical goals.

I prefer to use general anesthesia. You'll sleep through the entire operation. A coronal incision will be used. It follows a headphone-like pattern, starting at about ear level and running across the top of the forehead and down the other side of the head. The incision is usually made well behind the hairline so that the scar won't be visible. Working through the incision, the skin of the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue can be removed and the muscles of the forehead can be altered or released.

The eyebrows may also be elevated and excess skin at the incision point will be trimmed away to help create a smoother, more youthful appearance.

After your surgery, patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication. As the nerves heal, numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to fully disappear.

Some of your hair around the incision may fall out and may temporarily be a bit thinner. Normal growth will usually resume within a few weeks or months. Permanent hair loss is rare. Most patients are back to work or school in 10 to15 days.

Vigorous physical activity should be limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months. Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within about three weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with special camouflage makeup. Please stay at least 10 days after surgery in Costa Rica.

All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. Complications are rare and usually minor, yet the possibility of complications must be considered. In rare cases, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured on one or both sides, resulting in a loss of ability to raise the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead.

Additional surgery may be required to correct the problem. Formation of a broad scar is also a rare complication. This may be treated surgically by removing the wide scar tissue so a new, thinner scar may result.

Also, in some patients, hair loss may occur along the scar edges. Loss of sensation along or just beyond the incision line is common. It is usually temporary, but may be permanent in some patients. Infection and bleeding are very rare, but are possibilities.