Sun, stress, the effects of gravity, and repetitive muscle use can negatively affect the skin on the forehead over time. When the skin loosens, it often creates wrinkles on the forehead and causes the eyebrows to descend. Forehead lift surgery, also known as a “brow lift,” can be performed to correct a low or sagging brow, vertical “frown” lines or furrows between the eyebrows, and horizontal lines and wrinkles across the forehead. This procedure greatly improves these unwanted facial features, which can make a person appear constantly angry, sad, or tired, and may not reflect how they truly feel.
There are multiple forehead lift methods available, from open approaches to techniques employing an endoscope (surgical video device) and more complex short incisions. Dr. Brown will evaluate each patient individually to determine which technique will be best for him/her, depending on their individual bone structure, underlying tissue composition, brow and eye position, and skin thickness, texture, and elasticity.
Traditional Forehead Lift
The traditional forehead lift, also called a “coronal lift,” involves an incision from ear to ear across the top of the scalp. This incision can be made at the front of the hairline or behind the hairline so that it is hidden within the hair. In some cases, the incision can be placed in front of the hairline to improve a receding hairline. Through this incision, specific areas of the brow can be corrected; muscles can be modified to eradicate furrows and raise the brow, and excess skin can be pulled tight and removed to lift the forehead and eliminate wrinkles. This method generally requires more recovery time than endoscopic or limited incision forehead lifts because of the larger incision.
Endoscopic Forehead Lift
With this forehead lift method, several small incisions are made at the top of the scalp and at the temples behind the hairline, through which various internal structures can be corrected using an endoscope (a long, thin tube attached to a video camera with a light on the end). This tool allows the surgeon to see the tissues and muscles beneath the skin in order to delicately remove or reposition them as necessary. This technique requires less recovery time because of the minimal incisions needed, and it is advantageous for patients who mainly wish to address a sagging brow.
Limited Incision Forehead Lift
This forehead lift technique involves the use of incisions at the temple, in the scalp, and, if necessary, in the natural crease of the upper eyelids. The eyebrow is lifted through the temporal and scalp incisions, and the eyelid incisions are used to complete the lift by correcting lines between the brows. This technique also requires less recovery time than the traditional forehead lift because of the limited incisions.
Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area
Forehead lift surgery is performed in Dr. Brown’s accredited private operating suite in the heart of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco under either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The procedure takes several hours and most patients go home the same day the procedure is performed. If the patient wishes, he or she may stay overnight in Dr. Brown’s suite with two nurses in attendance.
Ideal candidates for the forehead/brow lift procedure have realistic expectations and do not smoke. Patients with thinning hair are ideal candidates for a method using incisions in the temporal region because any scarring will be inconspicuously hidden. As with all surgical procedures, there are certain risks associated with forehead lift surgery, such as infection and bleeding. Potential patients will be informed about all possible risks and complications during their consultation with Dr. Brown.
The recovery time for a forehead lift varies between individuals and depends on the technique performed for the surgery. After surgery, a bandage will be wrapped around the forehead and small tubes may be placed to drain fluid from under the skin. There will be some swelling and bruising immediately following surgery, but this should resolve within one to two weeks. During the recovery period, the head should be kept elevated to reduce swelling and ice packs may be applied every so often. Bending, straining, and lifting should be avoided during the early stages of recovery. Some sutures will be removed on the fifth day after surgery, and all of them will be removed by the tenth day post op. Numbness in the forehead may be felt for several months, and incisions may take up to 6 months to fade and will continue to become less visible over time.
The final outcome of surgery is typically visible after several weeks. Forehead lift surgery dramatically improves a sagging forehead and brow to create a happier, more youthful, and refreshed appearance. This procedure offers longlasting results, but it does not stop the aging process. Forehead lift surgery is commonly performed in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as eyelid lift surgery (blepharoplasty) and/or facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) in order to achieve complete facial rejuvenation.
To learn more about forehead lift surgery or any other plastic surgery procedure in San Francisco, please call (415) 9233005 or fill out our contact form today. Our board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Donald M. Brown, looks forward to meeting you during your initial consultation.