Early signs of aging tend to occur at different ages for everyone, as each of us has a unique rate of aging that is influenced by a variety of genetic and lifestyle factors. While these signs of aging, including wrinkling and sagging skin, can pop up anywhere, the forehead is often one of the first areas to start showing symptoms of age as skin loses elasticity and firmness.
Horizontal lines are often the first signs of aging in the brow, followed by sagging that can result in a tired, worried, or angry expression, even when the face is at rest. For many people, these signs of aging can make them look and feel much older than they really are. While most people don’t start considering anti-aging surgery until later in life, a brow lift for these early sign of aging can help patients restore their youthful appearance and confidence.
A brow lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the brow to a more youthful position, helping to neutralize the expression and rejuvenate the face. This procedure can be used for patients with only early signs of aging, or patients with more moderate to severe brow aging (which can even help alleviate poor vision depending on the amount of sagging present). The surgical techniques used will vary depending on the extent of the procedure and the wishes of the patient. Most patients who undergo successful brow lift surgery report a boost in confidence and self-esteem.
If you are considering a brow lift, then you’ll need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alvarez in his Miami plastic surgery office to talk about your options for surgery. Dr. Alvarez will discuss your goals for the procedure with you and assess your brow to see what techniques might be used to help your reach those goals. He will make recommendations for treatment and help you determine whether or not the surgery is the right fit for you. During the consultation, you and Dr. Alvarez may also consider any additional treatments that may be needed.
Dr. Alvarez will also use the consultation to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. You will want to come to the meeting prepared to ask any questions you have—your consultation is valuable one on one time with an expert, so make the most of it.
While a brow lift can benefit patients of all backgrounds, the surgery is not a good fit for every patient. Ideal candidates for a brow lift are non-smokers, in general good health, and have sagging in the brows that affects the aesthetics of the face and/or vision. Prospective patients should have realistic expectations for the procedure, and be prepared to follow all surgeon instructions for pre and post-operative care to help promote optimal healing and results.
There are several different surgical techniques that can be used to perform a brow lift, and the differences mostly have to do with incision placement. Anesthesia that is used may vary depending on the surgical approach, but modern brow lift surgery is often performed under local anesthesia and sedation.
The possible surgical techniques that can be used include:
Endoscopic: The endoscopic brow lift involves the use of a tiny camera to improve surgeon visibility and allow for smaller incisions. Small (about 1 inch) incisions are made at the hairline, which allows the surgeon to work with various areas of the brow. This approach is subtle and best for patients with less advanced aging of the forehead.
Direct or Mid-Forehead: The incisions for these techniques are made directly above the brows (direct) or within the furrows of the forehead (mid-forehead). This approach is rarer and used for patients with more severe signs of aging.
Coronal: Also known as an open brow lift, this incision is placed at the hairline, behind the ear. The coronal approach is most often used for women with small foreheads, as the approach can lift the hairline.
Temporal: A more minimal approach, the temporal brow lift involves incisions at either side of the forehead, and focuses on the outer third of the brow on either side.
No matter where the incision(s) are placed, the main techniques of the procedure remain the same. Dr. Alvarez will smooth and tighten the skin, adjust the muscles for more youthful placement, and make any other necessary changes before closing the incisions and putting bandages in place.
Following brow lift surgery, the forehead will be swollen and bruised initially. Patients should plan to take at least 10-14 days off of work for initial healing (sometimes less for endoscopic procedures). During this period, patients should take it easy and keep the head elevated as much as possible. Your doctor will schedule follow up appointments to remove sutures, if necessary.
Normal activities can be resumed gradually, but strenuous activity such as exercise should be postponed for at least several weeks following the surgery. Surgeons will provide patients with detailed instructions on caring for the incisions to promote proper healing.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Finding the right surgeon can be a difficult task, but it is essential to getting the results you want. Be sure to choose a skilled and reputable surgeon who has the experience and dedication to give you the results you’re looking for. Beyond this, you will want to choose a provider you can feel comfortable around, a doctor you can trust. Do research before you start consulting with experts, and be sure to meet with a few surgeons before choosing the provider who will perform your brow lift.
What is the right age for a brow lift?
There is no “right” age for any procedure, since the rate of aging varies so much depending on the individual. Many people start noticing problems in their mid thirties or early forties, which are common times to seek brow lift. However, as long as you are a good candidate for the procedure, there are no real age guidelines on brow lift surgery.
What type of brow lift is right for me?
You and your surgeon will discuss your goals and level of aging before settling on a surgical technique. This is something you must choose with the help of an expert to guide you. Your surgeon will choose the technique that will give you the results you want while using the most minimal incisions possible.
Will a brow lift make me look “surprised”?
Many prospective patients are worried about looking “surprised” after surgery, a complication that occurs when the brow is positioned too high during brow lift surgery. Choosing a skilled surgeon will drastically reduce the chance of experiencing complications such as this.
What are the risks of brow lift surgery?
As with any surgery, brow lift procedures do carry some risk, although the surgery is quite safe. Some of the problems that are possible include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Asymmetry/poor aesthetic outcome
- Unfavorable scarring
- Hair loss around incisions (often temporary)
- Numbness in the forehead
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss or discoloration
- Fluid accumulation
- Nerve injury
While these complications are rare, you can reduce your risk for experiencing problems by choosing the right surgeon and following all care instructions as closely as possible.
How much scarring will there be?
All surgery produces some scarring, but the brow lift incisions will be strategically placed to help hide scars from the procedure. The amount of scarring will depend on the technique used, and patients should keep in mind that scars will fade somewhat over time as well.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.