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How Is a Brow Lift Done?

We do a brow lift through a combination of incisions that are made at the back of the scalp or on the lateral temporal forehead. Previously, the gold standard in brow lifts was to make an incision all the way across the top of the head. The results were great, but patients had itchy scalps that were a little bit numb for a while which increased healing time.

Today, we use two options that are smaller surgeries with less down time. The first option is a brow lift done endoscopically through three small incisions at the back of the head, behind the entire hairline. This kind of brow lift needs some specialized equipment and an endoscopic tower in order for us to do it, but it works really well. A good candidate for this type of brow lift is a person with a low to medium hairline. If the patient has a very high hairline, I don’t like to perform an endoscopic lift because it moves the hairline back further.

The other option is a temporal brow lift with a small lateral incision in either the hairline or a bit onto the forehead. This brow lift works really well to lift the tail, but doesn’t pull the hairline back.

The objective of either brow lift is to lift the lateral aspect of the brow, the tail of the brow, so that the tail is higher than the head of the brow. This opens up the area of the lateral upper eyelid, due to less redundant skin. Always remember that In the case of a brow lift, more is not better. You’ll want to choose a surgeon with experience in this procedure because over lifting can result in an unnatural look.

How painful is a brow lift?

The brow lift is not a very painful procedure with downtime of only about 10 days to 14 days. Because we’re doing some dissection in the forehead, people can get swollen and bruised in their cheeks, which is normal. Keeping in mind that the position of the eyebrow is different in everyone. If you’re someone with dominant elevator muscles, your brows are going to be high. If the depressor muscles, the squinters and frowners, dominate, then the brow is going to be low. 

For those with dominant depressor muscles, a chemical brow lift is a great choice. We do this with Botulinum Toxin, weakening the lateral and medial muscles that pull down the eyebrows. By weakening the depressor muscles, the elevator muscles work in an unopposed fashion.

An easy visual for how Botulinum Toxin works on opposing muscles is to think of the bicep and tricep muscles in the arm. If we wanted the arm to be bent all the time we would use Botulinum Toxin to weaken the tricep, and if we do the opposite by injecting Botulinum Toxin into the bicep, the arm would be straight all the time. 

Can I get a Botulinum Toxin brow lift?

A Botulinum Toxin brow lift is great for patients who have weak elevator muscles. The treatment will open up the eyes and lift the brows, without surgery.

If you have questions about a brow lift, a chemical brow lift, eyelid surgery or anything to do with rejuvenating your periorbital area, call me or email me. Contact us for a consultation. I’d love to see you in the office. 

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]