A Brow Lift is often performed to treat conditions associated with aging. The procedure is sometimes performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures to achieve a more harmonious facial appearance. A Brow Lift is also appropriate for treatment of certain inherited traits.
Some of the reasons to consider a Brow Lift include:
If you have any one or combination of the conditions listed above you are probably a good candidate for a Brow Lift. During your consultation with Dr. Moelleken, he will assess your facial bone structure, underlying skin structure, brow position, eyelids, eye aesthetics, skin thickness, texture, and elasticity. He will use this information to formulate a surgical plan designed especially for you. A Brow Lift is a very versatile procedure and Dr. Moelleken will explain the technique that he feels will give you the best and safest outcome.
Previously, there was only one type of Brow Lift surgery available: the Coronal Brow Lift. This technique is performed with a long incision at the top of your head, through which the muscles of the forehead are modified to reflect less age and the brows, usually central and lateral, are elevated. Dr. Moelleken feels your hairline is “everything.” In women, your hairline recedes and the older you get, the higher your hairline gets. The coronal lift, which is basically an ear-to-ear incision, will raise your brows to make them look better but in the process, you will sacrifice a lot of your hair. Because of the degree your brows are raised during a Coronal Brow Lift, your hairline is raised up as well. Preserving the natural contours of your hairline, particularly your temple hair, is important to Dr. Moelleken and that is why he feels full Coronal Lifts are necessary to give his patients a pleasing result. He feels the newer options reflect the current technology that recognizes the importance of your hairline.
Today, there are many different variations and as the Brow Lift continues to evolve, the procedure has changed from open techniques to more complex short incision and endoscopic techniques. The minimally invasive brow lifts, performed through very small incisions next to the brow itself, are designed to reduce the angry or overly concerned appearance of your central brow, particularly your “frown lines”. BOTOX® helps elevate your lateral brow and is effective at reducing frown lines. It also helps with horizontal wrinkles but BOTOX® causes dropping of your brows. BOTOX® injections cannot elevate tissues the way Brow Lifts do because it will only relieve the wrinkles in your skin caused by the muscles below. While many patients are happy with BOTOX® (Botulinum toxin A) injections every few months, others desire a more permanent solution and a Brow Lift is an effective alternative.
Another Brow Lift technique uses an endoscope, a long, thin tube with a light on the end, attached to a video camera. The Endoscopic Brow Lift uses fiber optic technology, which allows for the procedure to be performed through small incisions hidden behind your hairline. Through the small incisions, the endoscope is inserted, allowing Dr. Moelleken to see and work on the various internal structures of your forehead. The tissue is repositioned to smooth out wrinkles and your forehead muscles are trimmed causing them to contract less. A suture or screw is then attached to hold up your brow and although not as drastic as a Coronal Brow Lift, an Endoscopic Lift also raises your hairline. The Endoscopic Brow Lift results in an effect similar to BOTOX® Cosmetic and the procedure takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes performed under local anesthesia with sedation. For selected patients, especially patients whose hairline is already high due to previous plastic surgery or due to genetics, hairline Brow Lifts can restore a lost hairline while elevating brow tissues to a more youthful level. An Endoscopic Brow Lift can be performed alone or with a facelift or Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) depending on your personal goals.
In summary, a Brow Lift procedure is performed in four steps which include:
You will be discharged after your Brow Lift and any swelling or bruising can be minimized with cold packs and head elevation. You can expect to feel discomfort for a few days, managed by prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. Once the dressings and drains are removed, puffiness and discoloration may be more pronounced in some portions of your face than others. Do not be alarmed by any unevenness or temporary asymmetry, as this is normal. Most swelling is usually noted in the first 24 to 48 hours, and most bruising resolves within two weeks. Concealing makeup is usually permitted after the first week and you may experience numbness to your forehead post-operatively. Each patient heals differently and some find that mild swelling persists for many weeks while others say it subsides within days. Most stitches are removed within a week of your surgery and straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided during the early post-operative period as these activities may predispose you to bleeding.
If you are a smoker, it is recommended that you stop smoking well in advance of your surgery. Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some vitamins or homeopathic regimens should be discontinued prior to surgery as well. Avoidance of factors that could reduce the benefits of the surgery, such as excessive unprotected sun exposure and cigarette use, is vital.
You will receive specific instructions that will include caring for your dressings and incisions; directions for any medications, unusual concerns to be aware of, and when to follow up so Dr. Moelleken can monitor your healing process. It may take several months for any swelling to totally resolve and up to six months for your incision scars to fully fade. Most patients take off work for approximately one week and once your recovery period is over, you will look and feel more rejuvenated than you have in years.