Facial aging doesn’t happen in the same way for everyone. Some might notice their necks and chins starting to age before the rest of their face, while others might see signs of aging near their eyes or forehead first. Just as people aging in different areas, different surgical procedures are designed to focus on facial aging in different parts of the face.
If you are seeing lines and wrinkles along your forehead, a brow lift, sometimes called a forehead lift, might be the option for you. Understanding what the surgery can and can’t do, as well as all of your options, will help you determine if it’s the right procedure for you.
What a Brow Lift Does
A brow lift focuses on the upper part of the face, including the brows, upper eye area and forehead. The surgery might be appropriate for people who have eyebrows that seem to sag or droop over their eyes, making them look sleepy or angry. The sagging brows can also make it difficult for people to put on eyeshadow and other types of eye makeup. A brow lift is also often recommended for people with lines across their forehead or with lines between their eyebrows. The surgery can also reduce excess skin or fat in the brow area.
What Are Your Options?
There are several methods of performing a brow lift, ranging from the least invasive to the most invasive. An endoscopic brow lift is one of the least invasive options. During it, the surgeon makes a few very small incisions into the skin, near the hairline. A small camera, or scope, is threaded into the incisions and helps guide the surgeon as he or she lifts the skin of the area, reducing sagging. The skin is secured in place using glue or screws.
While the endoscopic method of brow lift is less invasive, it is also less effective in many instances. For that reasons, some surgeons prefer to perform a version of the procedure known as an open brow lift.
During an open brow lift, the surgeon makes a long incision across the top of the scalp, from ear to ear. Although the incision is long, it is also concealed by the hair, so any visible scarring is minimal. The skin is lifted away during the surgery and extra muscle and fat are trimmed away. The incision is stitched closed, which elevates the brow and forehead to a more rested, youthful position.
While an open brow lift is more involved, the trade-off is that it usually provides more dramatic, long-lasting results. Patients can typically see results for up to a decade after their surgery. The results also look very natural, meaning that a patient avoids the surprised look often associated with certain types of facial surgery.
Can It Be Done Without Surgery?
In some cases, signs of aging around the forehead or eyebrows can be dealt with without the need for surgery. Botox or Dysport injections reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles near the brows, such as the two vertical lines between the eyebrows or horizontal creases across the forehead.
Botox or Dysport won’t help everyone with signs of aging around their brows. For example, the injections won’t remove extra skin or fat or tighten the muscles. Another drawback of injections over surgery is the short duration of results. Typically, Botox or Dysport last just a few months, after which a patient needs to repeat the treatment to keep up the results. One option is to try either Botox or Dysport first, then decide if a brow lift is the appropriate next step.
While a brow lift can certainly be performed on its own, some patients find that they get the best results when combining the surgery with another procedure. Since a brow lift focuses on the upper part of the face and a facelift focuses on the lower part of the face, patients sometimes have the two surgeries performed together to create a harmonious, balanced look. Another option is to combine a brow lift with eyelid surgery, to rejuvenate not only the forehead, but also eyelids that might have become droopy or puffy with age.
If your droopy eyebrows are making you look tired or if people have begun to ask you why you look upset, it might be time to explore your options when it comes to a forehead lift. Near Washington, D.C., Dr. George Bitar regularly performs the surgery on patients. They can evaluate the signs of aging on your face and make a recommendation that best suits your needs. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bitar, call (703) 206-0506 today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.