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Brow Lift

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about a brow lift?

A brow lift, also called a forehead lift, is surgery to improve the appearance of your forehead. A brow lift decreases wrinkle lines and creates a more youthful, open appearance. A brow lift can raise a sagging brow that may be overhanging your eyes.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may need to stop taking aspirin or blood thinners days to weeks before surgery. You may need a physical exam, blood work, or an EKG before surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you.

What will happen during surgery?

You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia and sedation. With local anesthesia and sedation, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain. The type of brow lift you need depends on your face and brow shape. The skin will be stretched and lifted. Muscles and tissues will be repositioned. Your incisions will be closed with stitches, medical glue, or medical clips. These are removed about 1 week after surgery. These are the following brow lift surgery options:

  • With endoscopic surgery, several small incisions will be made just past your hairline. Thin tools will be placed under your skin to lift and move the tissues and muscles of your forehead.
  • With a temporal or limited incision brow lift, 2 incisions will be made. Each incision is about 1 inch long and is made above a temple, just past your hairline. This brow lift is often done with an eyelid lift as well. The tissues and muscles of the outer brow area and the area between your eyebrows will be lifted. This helps smooth out frown lines.
  • With a classic, or coronal, brow lift, one long incision is made behind the hairline. This incision starts at one ear, goes up over the forehead, and down to the other ear. This type of lift is not as common. Extra skin, fat, and tissue will be removed. The brow muscles and skin are moved into a firmer, more youthful appearance.

What will happen after surgery?

You may have a light bandage wrap on your head for the first 24 hours. You may feel like your forehead is tight or stretched. You may have a drain to remove extra blood or fluid from the surgery area. You will need to return in 24 hours to have the drain removed and the incisions checked. Your forehead and eye area may swell and bruise during the first 2 weeks after surgery. You will need to walk around starting the day of surgery to help prevent blood clots.

What are the risks of surgery?

  • You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. You may develop a hematoma (collection of blood). You may have hair loss around the incisions. Your hairline may move or be higher than you thought. Your eyes may be irritated or dry. Your brow may not be equally lifted on each side.
  • You may have facial nerve damage with weakness or paralysis. You may have more swelling than expected. Your incisions may not heal as quickly as expected. You may have skin loss or visible scars. You may get a blood clot in your limb. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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