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Brow Lift or Forehead Lift


As we age, lines and wrinkles naturally form on the forehead due to constant muscle movement, making us look older than we would like. Additionally, those horizontal lines across the forehead, or little vertical lines between the brows, can cause us to look angry, stressed, or simply unpleasant and unapproachable. Fortunately, with the help of a talented plastic surgeon who performs brow lift surgery, you can achieve a fresh-faced, smooth, youthful appearance. By eliminating the wrinkles or deep grooves on the forehead, and repositioning the brow line to its ideal position, you can easily take years off of your face. There are various types of brow lift surgeries to cater to individual needs, all of which offer natural-looking, beautiful results. If you are interested in brow lift surgery, we urge you to continue reading, so you are well-informed of all of the pertinent details before deciding whether the treatment is right for you.


The brow lift surgery procedure should only be performed by an experienced, skilled plastic surgeon. You will either undergo a traditional brow lift or endoscopic brow lift, which is less invasive, depending on your specific situation. The procedures generally last from one to two hours total.

Traditional brow lift surgery:

  • A general anesthesia is administered so patients are completely unconscious during the procedure.
  • An incision will be made across the forehead below the hairline.
  • The skin will be lifted so wrinkles are smoothed and the brows repositioned.
  • Any excess skin is removed.
  • The incision is sealed with sutures.

Endoscopic brow lift surgery:

  • A general anesthesia is administered so patients are unconscious throughout the procedure.
  • Several small incisions are made along the scalp.
  • An endoscope is inserted through the incisions, which allows the surgeon to see the treatment area on a television screen.
  • Using another instrument the forehead skin is lifted, the brows are repositioned, and muscle tissue causing lines is removed.
  • Excess skin is removed and the incisions are sutured closed.

Bandages can be removed after a day or two, and stitches can be removed after approximately two weeks. Recovery time varies for each patient; however, you should be able to resume normal activities after several weeks. Once completely healed, results will be beautiful, noticeable, and natural looking.


A brow lift can be an effective way to refresh the appearance of those with frown lines and drooping eyelids. A relatively straightforward surgical procedure, it is designed to minimize or remove these signs of aging, which tend to make patients look tired, drowsy, or upset regardless of how they feel. Typical results of a brow lift include the fading or disappearance of lines on the forehead, raised eyelids, and a younger, more energetic appearance overall.

Ideal Brow Lift Candidates

Most patients opting for brow lift surgery are between 40 and 50 years old, with brow lines and eyelids that have begun to sag noticeably and wrinkles or creases beginning to appear along the forehead. Hereditary causes sometimes make these problems an issue for people in their 20s and 30s, in which case a brow lift can also help. Anyone considering this procedure should have a thorough understanding of what it can and cannot accomplish. After an in-depth discussion with an experienced cosmetic surgeon, some decide that a brow lift performed in conjunction with other procedures (e.g., a face lift (rhytidectomy) or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) will provide the best results.

Often brow lift patients initially believe they need eyelid surgery to correct drooping above the eyes. After discussing their aesthetic needs with a cosmetic surgeon they discover that a brow lift will minimize such problems more effectively. The procedure can also provide effective treatment for the following cosmetic issues:

  • drooping brows
  • angry, or tired appearance
  • horizontal lines across the forehead
  • deep furrows between the brows
  • heavy upper eyelids

Visit the DocShop gallery to view brow lift before and after photos.

Photo credit: The Georgia Center

Medical Considerations

When considering any surgery, it’s wise to review potential complications associated with the procedure before deciding to undergo treatment. While a brow lift is relatively safe, there are risks to be aware of. For instance, a loss of sensation along incisions made during surgery sometimes occurs. While this numbness is usually temporary, in some cases it will not fade over time. More rarely, surgery may cause nerve damage, resulting in paralysis of the area around the eyebrows and lower forehead. In other situations, hair loss occasionally occurs along scar lines that form after surgery.

One of the best ways to avoid such complications is to select a qualified surgeon with extensive experience conducting brow lift procedures. In addition, patients should always follow their surgeon’s instructions before and after surgery as closely as possible.

Pre-operative Instructions

Before you undergo brow lift surgery, your plastic surgeon will provide you with pre-operative instructions; these may include:

  • Stop smoking four weeks before surgery
  • Stop taking certain medications, herbs, and vitamins (including those that thin the blood) two weeks before surgery
  • Purchase all supplies that will be needed during recovery, including pain medication, bandages, and groceries, before the day of your surgery
  • Determine how you are going to cover the cost of brow lift surgery (financing, credit card, check, or cash)
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of surgery
  • Do not wear make-up, contact lenses, or jewelry on the day of your surgery
  • Have a family member or friend drive you to and from your surgical appointment

Risks and Benefits

While there are many excellent benefits of brow lift surgery, it is important to know all of the necessary details, including any risks, prior to moving forward. The best way to know if the treatment is right for your needs is to speak with a qualified plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will first determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, discuss brow lift costs, and together you can discuss whether the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Individuals choose to undergo a brow lift to eliminate the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows, or to reposition the eyebrows to appear higher up on the forehead. The procedure provides exceptional results, allowing patients to achieve a brighter, more youthful, and more pleasant facial appearance. If you are considering brow lift surgery, we encourage you to continue reading about the benefits and possible risks, so you can decide whether the procedure is right for you. Next, we urge you to locate a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a consultation.

Benefits of Brow Lift Surgery

All men and women over the age of 40 see signs of age appear on the face. The forehead is usually one of the first places where lines and wrinkles appear due to excessive muscle movement. Fortunately, brow lift surgery can do away with a number of cosmetic flaws on the upper third portion of the face. The many benefits of brow lift surgery include:

  • Increase confidence with enhanced appearance
  • Rejuvenate appearance for a more youthful look
  • Look more pleasant and approachable
  • Alleviate tension in the forehead muscles
  • Can combine with other treatments, like a face lift or eye lid surgery
  • Endoscopic brow lift causes minimal side effects and fast recovery
  • Excellent, long-lasting results - up to 10 years or more
  • Incisions are well hidden and scarring will be minimal
  • Natural-looking results
  • Position eyebrows to better suit your face
  • Few potential risks or complications
  • Correct droopy eyebrows or uneven eyebrows

Visit the DocShop gallery to view brow lift before and after photos.

Photo credit: The Clinic of Facial Plastic Surgery

Risks of Brow Lift Surgery

There is always some degree of risk involved with all cosmetic procedures, although very rare with brow lift surgery. It is important that you discuss your medical history, including any existing conditions with your surgeon prior to commencing. Based on your personal information, your doctor can establish the best way to proceed to suit your individual needs. Additionally, it is imperative that you only go to a board-certified surgeon with experience performing brow lift surgeries. Ask any questions you may have, and educate yourself on preoperative and postoperative care and recovery, so you can avoid more serious complications. If you do not follow necessary instructions or do not see a qualified surgeon, risks may include:

  • Infection
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hair loss at incision site
  • Difficulty moving forehead muscles or brows
  • Scarring

Individuals naturally show certain expressions by moving their facial muscles, particularly on the forehead. However, over time, wrinkles and lines remain on the forehead, causing a person to look old, unpleasant, or permanently worried. Brow lift surgery, also referred to as a forehead lift, is an excellent method of achieving a smooth, beautiful, youthful-looking appearance. There are two different types of brow lift procedures available, including a classic brow lift or an endoscopic brow lift. Both provide exceptional results, however, recovery may differ slightly. Before undergoing brow lift surgery, you will meet with a qualified surgeon to determine whether you are a good candidate, and which approach is right for your specific case. It is important that you know what to expect from any cosmetic procedure, including what the outcome will be, and what recovery is like before beginning. Knowing the facts is the first step in deciding if a treatment will suit your needs. The next step is finding a qualified plastic surgeon for a consultation.

Side Effects

Side effects generally subside after several weeks to one month, and are much less evident with an endoscopic brow lift. Patients typically experience some side effects, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Pain or general discomfort
  • Tiredness
  • Itching

Recovery Instructions

Your doctor will inform you of proper aftercare instructions to follow during the recovery period. You should only go to a board-certified surgeon with experience performing brow lift surgeries in order to best avoid serious complications. Recovery times vary from patient to patient; however, for a safe and speedy recovery process you can expect to:

  • Wear bandages for a couple days after procedure
  • Wait until bandages are removed to shower and wash hair
  • Keep head elevated with pillows for at least two days after procedure
  • Apply ice packs to minimize swelling
  • Apply any doctor-prescribed ointment to incision areas to help minimize scarring
  • Take any doctor-prescribed pain killers as instructed
  • Avoid any strenuous activities for up to two weeks after the procedure, such as exercise, heaving lifting, or sex
  • Stitches will be removed after approximately one to two weeks
  • Return to work or your normal daily routine after 10 days or so

Final Results

After a few weeks, patients will notice a significant decrease in swelling, bruising, or other visible side effects and results will be much more apparent. In addition to looking better, patients will feel better and more like themselves at that time. Once you have completely healed, you will enjoy your new, revitalized, and refreshed appearance. The forehead will look naturally smooth and wrinkle free; and the repositioned eyebrows will allow the face to appear brighter and more appealing. As the incisions are made behind the hair line, there will be no visible scaring once healed.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view brow lift before and after photos.

Photo credit: The Georgia Center

Contact a Plastic Surgeon in Your Area

DocShop can help you take the first step toward undergoing brow lift or another facial plastic surgery procedure, such as face lift surgery, rhinoplasty, or eyelid surgery. To learn more about the cost of a brow lift, use DocShop to find an experienced plastic surgeon in your area. A consultation with a qualified surgeon can help you decide if a surgical forehead and eyebrow lift, or another cosmetic procedure will help you achieve the results you desire.

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