Brow lifts combat the signs of aging, decrease frown lines, and raise naturally low or "heavy" brows. Brow lift surgery works by removing muscles and tissues that cause the brow to droop, allowing the surgeon to create a smoother looking forehead. An incision behind the hairline allows the plastic surgeon to avoid permanent visible scarring. The surgeon then removes the necessary tissue, sometimes using an endoscope to avoid scarring.
Aside from scarring, there are a few other side effects that could result from brow lift surgery. As with any surgery, infection is always a risk, and nerve damage from brow lifts can cause the inability of the individual to control eyebrow movement or wrinkle the forehead. Brow lift complications, however, are extremely rare, and most often can be corrected surgically.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
Endoscopic brow lifts use a less invasive technique than traditional brow lifts to create a more youthful appearance; endoscopic brow lifts use endoscopes to guide the surgeon's movements, allowing for smaller incisions and faster healing.
An endoscopic brow lift can be especially attractive to those candidates with insufficient hair to conceal scarring. Because an endoscopic brow lift requires such small incisions, many patients may be attracted to this less invasive procedure. Endoscopic brow lifts have reduced risks of side effects associated with surgical wounds, such as infection.
During the consultation the patient should be prepared to answer questions about medical history and expectations for results. If the individual is a good candidate, a date will be set for the procedure. This procedure is an ambulatory surgery, with the patient arriving for the endoscopic brow lift and returning home immediately following recovery.
In most cases, the endoscopic brow lift is conducted with the patient under IV sedation or general anesthetic. During the procedure the doctor will make small incisions just behind the hairline. The endoscopic brow lift utilizes a tiny camera and light, so the doctor may observe the progress of the procedure on a video monitor.
In other ways, there are few differences between an endoscopic brow lift surgery and a traditional brow lift. Patients need to return in the days following the surgery for the doctor to monitor healing, and to have the sutures removed. Follow-up for endoscopic brow lift usually requires a series of appointments over the course of one to three months.
Coronal Brow Lift
While a traditional brow lift addresses the overall appearance of the forehead, procedures like the coronal brow lift pinpoint specific regions to correct. For patients who would like to raise their brow line, a coronal brow lift may be the perfect answer. This method of brow lift is also known as a "headband incision", and involves removing skin from the scalp just beyond the hairline. The coronal brow lift is technically the simplest brow lift procedure to perform, since the entire forehead flap and all of the muscle and bone are easily visible.
The procedure lengthens the forehead and raises the hairline as the forehead is lifted. To perform a coronal brow lift, the plastic surgeon makes an incision from ear to ear, lifts the forehead and removes the excess skin from the scalp.
Coronal brow lifts are ideal for individuals who have short foreheads, but do not usually produce the ideal results for patients who already have larger foreheads. In fact, coronal brow lifts are not performed as commonly anymore, since they may lead to hair loss. Additional risks associated with a coronal brow lift include numbness and scarring, as well as a longer recovery time, because of the large incision.
Lateral Brow Lift
In order to correct the drooping of the outer brow line, a surgeon may use a lateral brow lift. This technique is also known as a temporal brow lift, and addresses sagging around the outside of the eyebrow almost exclusively.
During a lateral brow lift, incisions are placed in the hairline at the temples towards the sides of the face. The lateral brow lift removes excess skin, lifting the outer corners of the forehead. Unlike a traditional brow lift, a lateral brow lift will not raise the middle of the brow, but it will somewhat alleviate crow's feet. Lateral brow lifts are ideally suited to prospective patients who are only concerned with the drooping of the ends of the eyebrows. A lateral brow lift may be done at the same time as an endoscopic brow lift or a facelift.
Having a lateral brow lift performed is considerably less invasive than a coronal or traditional brow lift, and therefore carries less risk of infection or other complications. At the same time, lateral brow lifts are extremely limited in their ability to address sagging in the face. Although not a versatile procedure, a lateral brow lift can be the perfect solution for a surgical candidate who is concerned with sagging skin and tissue around the outer eye.
Mini Brow Lift
Mini brow lift surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that does not use an endoscope. For many individuals, mini brow lifts are sufficient to create a more youthful, refreshed appearance.
The advantages of a mini brow lift over the traditional method include:
- smaller incisions
- less surgical trauma
- shorter recovery times
- decreased chance for infections
The results of a mini brow lift are about the same as a full brow lift only on a smaller scale. Usually, mini brow lifts resolve the frown lines that form between the eyebrows, and doctors also use mini brow lifts to raise brow lines and improve symmetry, often softening the hooded appearance of the eyes.
Mini brow lift surgery uses small incisions, usually under two inches in length, made behind the hairline. Any scars are easily concealed by the natural hair growth. The actual surgical procedure used to perform a mini brow lift is almost identical to those for traditional or endoscopic brow lifts. What defines a mini brow lift is the size of the incisions and the more limited scope of the surgery.