Brow Lift

A brow lift is a plastic surgical procedure which improves the appearance of the upper third of the face, that region between the eyelids and the scalp, extending to the temples. The procedure improves low placement or drooping of the eyebrows, including hooding of the lateral eyelids, and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and creases in the forehead. A brow lift can:

  • Reduce furrows and other signs of aging of the forehead and brow areas, creating an overall softer, relaxed and rejuvenated facial appearance.
  • Reposition low or drooping eyebrows, including lateral hooding of upper eyelids.
  • Raise the eyebrows to a more awake and youthful position.
  • Minimize the wrinkles and creases that develop across the forehead, or those that occur high on the bridge of the nose, between the eyes.
  • Improve what are commonly referred to as “frown lines”, vertical wrinkles that form between the eyebrows.

Technique: A coronal incision, one hidden within the hairline, across the top of the scalp extending from ear to ear, is typically the approach selected for better and longer lasting results. This allows release of the attachments of the forehead to the brow bone to permit elevation of the eyebrows and forehead. It also provides access to the underlying muscles so that the wrinkles they produce can be surgically treated to relax them. The excess scalp is then removed and the incision closed. A modified brow lift can sometimes be performed for limited anatomic findings permitting a smaller incision. Of note, although some surgeons perform a technique known as endoscopic brow lift, the use of several small incisions hidden within the hairline allowing access for an endoscope, Dr. Rasmussen prefers the standard “coronal incision” approach because the endoscopic technique does not produce a significant benefit, and any benefit that may be achieved is short lived.

Although all cosmetic surgeries have potential risks, including brow lift, Dr. Rasmussen often tells those patients who have findings that would benefit from a brow lift that “it gives them the biggest bang for their buck” since it makes a significant improvement in their appearance without significant risks. Probably the most annoying trade off from the procedure is sensory changes that occur and may persist for 6 months to a year post operatively.

A brow lift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other surgical rejuvenation procedures such as eyelid surgery or facelift. Results of a brow lift may be enhanced through wrinkle reduction by non-surgical techniques such as injectable fillers or Botox®, and skin resurfacing techniques which can further improve skin tone and surface appearance. As with all cosmetic procedures, realistic expectations are the key to satisfaction. Dr. Rasmussen discusses this during a comprehensive consultation.

This procedure is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Swelling subsides in 1 to 3 weeks, although improvement in overall appearance is visible immediately.