Brow Lift Surgery in San Antonio, TX
What is a Brow Lift?
A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, is a cosmetic procedure we perform to reduce signs of aging in the forehead area. The goal is to smooth your forehead lines and furrows while elevating your brows for a more youthful, bright and alert appearance.
A brow lift will also reduce your crow’s feet lines at the corner of your eyes and can even help lower a receding hairline. In some situations, brow lifting can improve peripheral vision by lifting the eyelids.
You can have all these benefits – a dramatic improvement, a natural look, a hidden incision – with a speedy recovery and minimum downtime. When you consult with Dr. Schaffer, you can be sure that he will inform you of your options and guide you toward the treatment that is best for you.
Who is a good candidate for a brow lift?
Healthy adults who do not smoke may be good candidates for brow lift surgery. During your consultation, you can expect your surgeon to observe the condition of your skin and superficial tissue. The eyes, forehead, and hairline are all points of consideration for brow lift patients.
Dr. Schaffer first seeks to understand the true cause of cosmetic concerns. For example, by looking at the tissue around the eyes and on the upper eyelids, he can help a patient determine if a brow lift is the most appropriate treatment protocol or if an eyelid lift may be more suitable. In some cases, patients benefit from a combination of lift procedures.
How to prepare for brow lift surgery
Patients may need to have bloodwork done several weeks before surgery. This ensures that relevant levels are within range for the safest surgery and recovery process.
Smokers must quit 2 to 4 weeks before surgery to support optimal healing and decrease surgical risks.
Certain medications and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Talk to your doctor about products you are taking, prescribed or over-the-counter. You may be advised to lower dosages or stop certain drugs a week before surgery.
Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of bleeding and bruising, so should be limited in the week before surgery.
Brow Lift Techniques
The brow lift technique chosen depends on the patient’s skin and the appearance of the eyebrows and eyelids.
A classic lift requires a long incision from the top of the head at the hairline, and down to the ears. For someone who has a high forehead, a coronal incision, which is made behind the hairline, may be used.
This type of brow lift requires three to five small incisions that are made across the forehead, at the hairline. Shorter incisions mean a shorter recovery time and less scarring.
Forehead Lift Procedure
A forehead lift usually takes about one to two hours to perform. Either general anesthesia or IV sedation is used. Depending on the brow lift technique, one long incision or a series of small incisions is made. Dr. Schaffer moves and repositions the tissue and muscle if necessary.
To finalize the procedure, Dr. Schaffer closes the incision(s) with sutures, screws, adhesives or surgical tape. A drain may be put in to collect excess blood and fluid. After surgery, the patient is moved to a recovery area.
Can a brow lift be performed with other procedures?
A brow lift can be performed with several other procedures, both surgical and nonsurgical. A common combination is to lift the brows and the eyelids during the same procedure. This combination addresses more extensive signs of aging in the upper region of the face.
When Can I Resume Normal Activity?
Patients can expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising after a traditional brow/forehead lift. These side effects may be significantly less when the lift is performed endoscopically. In either case, stitches or staples may be removed around 10 days after surgery. It is after this time when patients may be ready to return to work.
Care must be taken during the first several weeks of recovery not to disturb incisions as they heal. Strenuous exercise that increases the heart rate to over 100 beats per minute needs to be postponed until incisions have healed and been observed by Dr. Schaffer. If you have questions about specific activities after a brow lift, please contact our office for assistance.
Are brow lift results permanent?
Facial aging is inevitable and will continue after a cosmetic lift such as brow lift surgery. However, the improvements achieved in this procedure are expected to refresh the face for many years. A person who has had a brow lift may always look younger than their biological age.
Is a brow lift surgery safe?
Brow lift surgery is an outpatient procedure that is generally considered very safe. Surgery should be conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has demonstrated a track record of success through patient images and testimonials.
Depending on the details of treatment, a brow lift may be conducted using general anesthesia or local anesthetic with IV sedation. The risks of surgery are discussed in detail during Dr. Schaffer’s consultation.
What is recovery like?
After surgery, patients return home, although an overnight stay may be necessary for some. For a day or two after surgery, patients may experience swelling. Most swelling will go away within two weeks.
Patients should avoid bending and heavy lifting for a few days to prevent post-operative bleeding. It may take up to 6 months for swelling to fully subside and scars to fade.
What alternatives are there to a brow lift?
In some cases, blepharoplasty may be a necessary alternative to a brow lift. However, if the forehead has lines and creases and the eyebrows are sitting below the upper orbital rim, alternatives to a brow lift are very few.
Depending on the extent of lift that is needed, some patients can address a drooping brow line with Botox. Injections take a few minutes and provide results that last up to six months. More extensive tissue laxity and a desire for long-term results contribute to a patient’s interest in brow lift surgery.
Risks of Brow Lift Surgery
Before surgery, Dr. Schaffer will fully discuss any risks associated with a brow lift. In addition to those associated with any type of surgery, a brow lift’s risks include the following:
- Hair loss around the incision site(s)
- Facial asymmetry
- Higher hairline
- Injury to facial nerves
- Dye dryness/irritation