A forehead lift, also known as a browlift or browplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to elevate a drooping eyebrow that may obstruct vision and/or to remove the deep “worry” lines that run across the forehead and may portray to others anger, sternness, hostility, fatigue or other unintended emotions.

Candidates

Forehead/brow lift surgery is generally undertaken by patient aged between 40 and 60 who have become aware of frown lines or wrinkles, and drooping upper eyelids – which can give the appearance of an older, tired face.

A mid-forehead lift is intended for patients older than 65 who have heavy sagging eyebrows and the deepest forehead wrinkles.

Procedure

The most common techniques used in forehead/brow lift surgery are open and endoscopic. Both procedures involve the individual being placed under a general or local anesthetic and can take up to two hours.

  • Open forehead/brow lift surgery – In this type of forehead/brow lift surgery, an incision will be made along the hairline or within a crease on the forehead.
  • Endoscopic forehead/brow lift surgery – Endoscopic forehead/brow lift surgery involves making several small incisions behind the hairline, directly into the scalp. An ‘endoscope’ – a metal tube with a camera attached – is then inserted so that the surgeon can view the procedure on a TV screen, before removing any tissue and excess skin.

In both open and endoscopic forehead/brow lift surgery, fatty tissue and possibly some forehead muscles are removed, the remaining muscles are tightened and excess skin is cut away. Finally the brows are lifted and fixed into place, and the remaining skin pulled down to create a smooth surface. The incision is then closed using sutures or staples. Forehead/brow lift surgery can also be performed using threadlift or suture techniques, where threads or sutures with small ‘teeth’ are placed into the forehead through a small insertion. The threads are then pulled upwards to create the ‘lift’ and the incision closed using stitches.

Recovery period

You will need to stay in hospital overnight and take up to 10 days off work following forehead/brow lift surgery. Bruising and swelling should be expected but this will subside. Stitches or staples will be removed between 5-10 days following the operation. You should not undertake any rigorous exercise for several weeks.

Risks

Complications are said to be rare and minor when a forehead lift is performed by a surgeon trained in the technique. However, it is possible for the surgical process to damage the nerves that control eyebrow and forehead movements. Hair loss can also occur along the scar edges in the scalp when an incision is made through the hairline. Moreover, infection and bleeding are possible with any surgical procedure.

Patients who have Endotine implants in their foreheads risk moving their newly adjusted tissues with relatively small movements just after the operation and before complete healing takes place. While the implant absorbs into the body, the Endotine generally does not support the very thick forehead flesh and heavy brows often seen in some overweight males.