We all want our face to accurately express how we are feeling. However as we age, our muscles and skin tend to droop, which can make us look grumpy, upset, angry or worn-out. The first signs of aging tend to occur in the crowsfeet and forehead area. The goal of forehead lift surgery (also known as browlift surgery) is to elevate the brow into its previous more youthful position and reduce deep forehead lines and creases. Please note, that the goal of a browlift is not to remove all the horizontal lines on the forehead. This often cannot be achieved with a browlift procedure. If you’re main goal is to address the horizontal lines on the forehead, Botox® Cosmetic may be a better approach. Browlift surgery is mostly designed to improve the position of the brow, not improve skin characteristics like wrinkles.
Some women find it difficult to apply and keep makeup on the upper eyelids due to the hooding of the lids. In order to test if you might be good candidate for a forehead lift, lift the skin on top of your eyebrows into a higher position. If the excess skin in the eyebrow crease reduces, you may be a good candidate. A forehead lift effects the upper third of the face. If you want to address the mid face, you may find that a cheek lift or facelift is a better option for you. Often times, patients see the best results when combining more than one procedure to address all of their cosmetic concerns.
During your consultation, I will review your medical history and discuss if a forehead lift is a reasonable option for you. Most patients who undergo a forehead lift are between the ages of 40-60 years old; however because of genetics, a forehead lift may be a reasonable for someone younger. At Sistine Plastic Surgery, we promote clear communication, transparency and encourage questions during consultations. Your concerns, time, and opinions are very important to us!
Botox® Cosmetic Browlift vs. a Surgical Browlift
When Botox® Cosmetic is injected into the forehead, it temporarily reduces unwanted lines, creases and folds for about 3-4 months. With the right technique, it can also create a lifting effect on the eyebrows. But when forehead wrinkles, folds and creases are too deep, a forehead lift may offer a more permanent and dramatic result. Please keep in mind that not everyone with heavy brows are appropriate candidates for a browlift procedure. If your only concern is excess skin or fat in the upper eyelids, upper blepharoplasty surgery might be a better route for you.
The Day of Surgery
On the day of surgery general anesthesia is administered to prepare you for surgery. Then I carefully create a small incision on the hairline (which is well concealed) to access forehead skin, tissue and muscle. An endoscope (small, metal tube with a light and camera) is used to view the inside of the forehead and manipulate underlying tissue and muscle. The images taken from the camera are displayed on a screen, to clearly view the internal structures. Since an endoscopic procedure is less invasive and requires smaller incisions, down time and scarring are reduced. Recovery time takes approximately two weeks. Vigorous activity should be refrained from in order to expedite the healing process and reduce the chance of injury or infection. You should be able to appreciate the full benefits of surgery six months after – when swelling and bruising subside. The results are usually lasting, but with age you may notice that slight symptoms return, but only mildly.
You should be aware that a forehead or browlift can also be performed with an “open” approach. This technique involves a long incision going over the top of the head – from the near the top of one ear to the other. I occasionally perform this procedure in patients with very heavy brows or patients who would actually like to elevate the position of their hairline. However, in the majority of patients I find that the endoscopic approach achieves very good results and requires less recovery than the “open” approach.
What is the recovery for Forehead Lift (Brow Lift) like?
Standard recovery time after a surgical brow lift is approximately 14 days but can vary from patient to patient. Both swelling and bruising are two of the most common side effects after this procedure and can take up to 2 weeks to diminish. The pain that is noted post-surgically is usually very mild and can be managed with medications such as Tylenol, though sometimes a few days of stronger pain medications is necessary. While most of the visible side effects will resolve within 2-3 weeks, the healing process may continue beyond this time frame. Surgical brow and forehead lift patients should be fine to return to their daily lifestyle within 10-14 days.
What is the cost of a Forehead Lift in Pittsburgh?
Pricing for a forehead lift, also known as brow lift, generally ranges from $4,000 to $9,000 in Pittsburgh. The cost of a forehead lift is dependent upon the patient’s anatomy and the complexity of the case. Fees will also fluctuate based on the practice, their geographic location, and the plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon’s skill level. After each patient is examined by Dr. Leong, pricing for this procedure will be discussed in further detail.