It’s all too common to have signs of aging around your eyes, including a drooping brow line and wrinkled skin on the forehead. Thankfully, you can rejuvenate your appearance with the help of brow lift surgery.
In the past, the brow lift (or forehead lift) was an undesirable procedure for many reasons. Older brow lift techniques used very long incisions placed across the scalp, and often the eyebrows were pulled too high or placed in unnatural positions. The result was a patient with a surprised or “pulled” appearance.
At Facial Aesthetic Concepts, we perform brow lifts endoscopically (much like knee surgery) and with lasers, which requires smaller incisions and allows your surgeon to camouflage them within your hairline. Our less invasive technique preserves hair and maintains the natural look and shape of the eyebrows. The procedure can be combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, and most patients are ready to get back to their usual routine in about 7 to 10 days.
Request a complimentary consultation to learn more about brow lift surgery and find the best procedures and treatments to help you achieve the look you want. We offer convenient appointment times at 3 locations in Southern California to accommodate your needs.
Facial Aesthetic Concepts are by far the finest aesthetic medical center in Southern California. Dr. Gangnes and his staff are incredible. They are professional, knowledgeable and considerate of your needs. I have been a patient of Dr. Gangnes and his medical staff for over thirty years. Regardless of your needs, this medical center should be your choice.
Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Not all doctors performing cosmetic surgery are board-certified. Choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon is crucial when having a facial cosmetic surgery procedure such as a brow lift.
Dr. Richard Gangnes is a double board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon with over 30 years of experience. In addition to his education from the Washington University School of Medicine, he is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Shain Cuber is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facial plastic surgery, having performed over 500 facial rejuvenation procedures. He spent more than 12 years of his career working with a practice specializing in facial plastic surgery.
What Is a Brow Lift?
The brow lift is a procedure designed to raise the eyebrows and smooth out the skin on the forehead. Any patient receiving a brow lift needs to be under general anesthesia during the operation. The procedure itself only focuses on the eyebrow and forehead area, but it can be combined with other facial plastic surgery procedures to achieve an even more youthful and refreshed look.
Common concerns treated by a forehead/brow lift are:
- Heavy Brows
- Heavy Eyelids
- Visual Obstruction
Brow Lift Surgery Techniques and Additional Options
Our surgeons most often perform brow lifts endoscopically, meaning that he uses an endoscope, a medical device that lets him see inside the tissue without having to make a large incision. Through the use of 2 to 5 small incisions in the scalp, he is able to access the brow muscles. During the procedure, the brow muscles are shortened, and excess skin may be removed to create an elevated eyebrow line. No incisions are needed on the eyelids themselves unless the patient is having eyelid surgery at the time of the brow lift.
In addition to eyelid surgery, brow lift patients also may want to have BOTOX® Cosmetic to address wrinkles in the eye area. A brow lift can be combined with procedures that address aging in the lower part of the face, such as a microlift, neck lift, or injectable fillers.
Best Candidates for a Brow Lift
You may be a candidate for a brow lift if you have sagging skin around your eyebrows and/or horizontal lines/creases in your forehead. Some people may never need a brow lift, while others, depending on genetics and facial anatomy, will have an aged appearance around their eyebrows and on their forehead in their 30s or maybe even earlier. If you have had BOTOX for several years and are no longer able to achieve the youthful look you want with non-surgical options, a brow lift may be the right choice for you.
What to Expect
Your journey toward a younger, more refreshed appearance begins with a consultation. The consultation is your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about all your cosmetic options. During the consult, your surgeon will review your medical history, examine your facial anatomy, and ask questions to make sure he understands your aesthetic goals. He’ll also advise on possible risks and side effects of the brow lift procedure. Be as open and honest as possible about your habits and your desired results so that your surgeon can plan with the best information in mind. Bringing photos from your 20s, 30s, and 40s will help your surgeon know how best to restore your youthful appearance.
If Dr. Gangnes determines you are a good candidate for a brow lift, you’ll be given additional information, including detailed pricing for your procedure, pre-op instructions, and general office policies. You’ll never be pressured into booking surgery on the day of your consultation. We want you to be able to take the time and make the best decision.
If you decide to move forward with surgery, our surgical coordinator will select a surgery date with you and make sure you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork. You’ll be given specifics including where your surgery will take place, how to prepare for surgery, post-op instructions, and much more.
What to Ask at Your Consultation
The consultation with your surgeon is your opportunity to voice any questions or concerns you may have about having a brow lift procedure. Here are some questions to help you get started as you make a list of what you want to cover during your time with the doctor.
What are your qualifications?
Dr. Gangnes is double-board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has decades of experience in facial plastic surgery procedures and is happy to provide a complete list of qualifications.
Dr. Cuber is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facial plastic surgery, having performed over 500 facial rejuvenation procedures. He spent more than 12 years of his career working with a practice specializing in facial plastic surgery.
Am I a good candidate for a brow lift?
Your surgeon will personally assess your facial anatomy, including skin elasticity and wrinkling, and evaluate your health history to determine your candidacy for a brow lift.
How long will it take to heal?
Everyone heals from surgery in their own way so it is not possible to guarantee you will complete your recovery in an exact amount of time. Typically, brow lift patients are well on their way to recovery and can return to work after 5 to 7 days. If your surgeon foresees any factors that may contribute to a recovery time that is longer than usual, he will discuss these with you during your consultation.
When will I be able to return to work?
Most of our brow lift patients feel comfortable returning to work 5 to 7 days after surgery. But it all depends on what type of job you have and how fully recovered you want to be before heading back to the job. Keep in mind that you may still have bruising and more noticeable incisions for the first several weeks after the procedure. Usually, this can be concealed with makeup so that you do not feel self-conscious around coworkers.
Can I see before and after photos of brow lifts you’ve done?
Take a look at previous plastic surgery work done by your surgeon in our online photo gallery to see for yourself what results other patients have achieved. We also encourage you to look at our stellar patient reviews so you can see how many of our patients are very happy with their results.
What type of anesthesia do you use?
General anesthesia is most often used for a brow lift procedure, though twilight sedation may be possible in certain circumstances. Your surgeon will be able to give you more specific information about the full range of anesthesia options during your consultation.
Is a brow lift the best option for me?
Your surgeon will evaluate your face in light of all the cosmetic concerns you have. He may recommend procedures you haven’t previously considered. For example, upper eyelid surgery may further improve the aged appearance you see around your eyes, and you could also benefit from non-surgical options such as BOTOX Cosmetic and injectable fillers.
How to Prepare for Your Brow Lift
- Provide a list of all medications you take and your complete health history.
- Complete any lab tests or additional medical evaluations Dr. Gangnes requests.
- If you are a smoker, quit smoking weeks prior to your plastic surgery. Smoking can cause complications with anesthesia as well as the healing process, so always be honest about your smoking habits. If you continue to smoke, your surgery may be postponed. Your safety is our highest priority.
- Arrange for someone to transport you to your surgery and bring you home afterward. Also, plan to have someone stay with you the first day or two.
- Meal prep and take care of as many errands and chores as you can before your surgery date. You can heal better if you are as focused as possible on your recovery.
Brow Lift Recovery
It’s important to plan ahead so that your recovery can be as smooth and comfortable as possible. You’ll need to have someone bring you to the surgery center the day of your procedure and drive you home afterward. We recommend having someone available to stay with you at least the first couple of days after surgery. You should be able to get around on your own the day of your procedure, but it helps to have someone who can prepare meals and assist you with any odds and ends since you will likely feel tired.
Most of our brow lift patients plan on taking 5 to 7 days off of work. This not only helps to ensure that you will look presentable when back at the job, but it also gives you time to focus on recovery and healing. Everyone heals at a different rate, and full healing will take several months as incisions heal, scars begin to fade, and any other lingering effects of surgery are resolved.
With proper care, the results of a brow lift can last for many years. Almost everyone who has a brow lift will not need another brow lift procedure, though it may help to have injectable treatments such as BOTOX and injectable fillers around the eye area to maintain as youthful a look as possible.
Post Op Instructions
You will be provided with a detailed set of instructions to follow after your procedure. If you ever have questions or concerns during your recovery period, we are available to provide answers and schedule any follow-up visits if needed.
Some of the main items to consider include:
- You may have dressings and/or drains placed after surgery. If so, you’ll receive details regarding changing the dressings and emptying and resetting the drains. It is important to keep the surgical area clean to minimize the risk of infection. You will need to avoid showering and shampooing your hair for a few days after the procedure.
- We recommend having someone stay with you at least the first night of your procedure.
- You can expect some tightness in the forehead and brow region, along with some bruising and swelling around the eyes. Cold compresses can be used to minimize swelling. If these after effects continue to increase after the first 2 to 3 days after surgery, contact us for further evaluation.
- Contact us if you are experiencing significant discomfort after the procedure and the pain is getting worse, if you develop a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or ifyou notice any changes to your vision.
- To minimize the swelling, sleep with your head elevated for 4 weeks after surgery.
- Take only antibiotics and pain medication that have been prescribed by our office. Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery unless otherwise directed.
- If you are a smoker, you will be told when you are cleared to start smoking again if you so choose. Keep in mind that smoking and chewing tobacco inhibit your circulation and can negatively affect your surgical outcome.
- Surgical staples are most often used to close the small incisions in your scalp and will be removed during a follow-up visit that is usually about 10 days after your procedure.
- Avoid vigorous exercise and strenuous activity that could possibly put any strain on your head and neck area for at least 3 weeks after surgery. It’s best to ease back into light exercise.
- Do not massage, rub, or place any tension on the area of the incisions for at least 4 weeks after your surgery.
Please use the entrance to our surgery center at 100C for all post-operative appointments. Ring the doorbell and our office staff will assist you. This entrance allows us to accommodate your need for privacy and comfort.
Why do my forehead and brow look aged?
Many factors contribute to aging in the upper area of the face. Sun exposure over time can greatly affect the area, particularly for people who have not been diligent about applying sunscreen and for balding men who have a more exposed brow. Sun exposure reduces skin elasticity and can change the subdermal structure. Gravity also has a natural effect of pulling down the facial skin over time. Another factor is facial tension and the use or overuse of muscles around the eyebrows. This can cause wrinkling and furrowing that in some cases can be treated by BOTOX Cosmetic, which relaxes facial muscles. But significant wrinkling of the brow due to a combination of factors will not be successfully treated through BOTOX alone.
How can I tell if my eyebrows sag enough to benefit from a brow lift?
Everyone’s face ages a bit differently. In the brow area, we tend to see a few common problems. One is the drooping of the outer eyebrow, which results in a sad or tired overall look. Another is sagging in the center or meeting point of the eyebrows, which can give an angry appearance. In addition, wrinkling and furrowing on the brow may occur, resulting in deep creases. In many cases, one or more of these issues will be present.
How do I know if I need a brow lift, eyelid surgery, or both?
This is a very common question. When some people look in the mirror, they notice an aged appearance around their eyes and often assume they’ll need eyelid surgery. But a brow lift can often achieve the refreshed and rested look a person wants. One preliminary test you can do at home is simple. Looking in the mirror, use your thumb and forefinger to gently lift the skin above your eyebrow to a position where it looks good to you. If just doing that makes your upper eyelids look good, a brow lift on its own may be sufficient. If not, upper eyelid surgery may also be necessary.
Is it possible to combine an eyelift and a brow lift procedure?
Absolutely. It is not only possible but rather common to combine these procedures during a single surgery. The brow lift targets the eyebrows and forehead, while upper eyelid surgery removes excess skin and tissue on the upper eyelids themselves.
Will a browlift raise my hairline?
The hairline may be raised slightly as part of this procedure, but it’s usually imperceptible. The main focus of the procedure is lifting of the eyebrow area and smoothing of wrinkles on the lower forehead. If you have a high or receded hairline and you are concerned about raising it further, your surgeon can perform a forehead reduction to move the scalp hair slightly forward, reducing the space between the elevated brows and the start of the hairline.
How much pain will I have after surgery?
You will be under general anesthesia, so you can sleep comfortably through the brow lift procedure itself. After surgery, your surgeon can prescribe pain medication to help you manage discomfort and swelling. Many patients are fine using only over-the-counter medication.
What are the possible risks and complications?
Your surgeon will review these in detail with you before you decide to move forward with a brow lift procedure. Just like any surgical procedure, some amount of scarring will be present after surgery, though your surgeon works hard to conceal incisions as best as possible. Other complications that can occur include numbness or change in skin sensation, bleeding, and infection. As the area heals, one brow may appear slightly higher or lower than the other, and hair loss may be experienced in rare cases near the incision site. We want you to be fully informed before surgery so you’ll know what to look for during recovery.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
When deciding to have any plastic surgery procedure, you already know that you want to find the best plastic surgeon in Southern California. At Facial Aesthetic Concepts, we use state-of-the-art technology combined with the latest medical training and techniques to give you the best results possible. Our distinguished surgeons and surgery center have served Orange County for over 30 years. We’ll provide you with a complete skin analysis and will develop a specific treatment plan to address your concerns.
Contact us online or call us today at (888) 713-7814 to schedule your complimentary consultation or to find out more about which face-refreshing options are right for you.