Forehead lift is one of the most maligned of the facial rejuvenation procedures. Many patients equate a forehead lift to a procedure that produces a ‘wide eyed’, or ‘surprised look’, and point to particular celebrities as examples of typical outcomes. Unfortunately, these are usually cases of overzealously performed surgery, on candidates that may not have required the procedure in the first place. When performed correctly by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, in the appropriate candidate, the Brow Lift is in fact, an integral part of periorbital and facial rejuvenation.
- Brow Lift and Forehead Lift are terms that are interchangeably used
- An Endoscopic Brow Lift is the modern, state-of-the-art approach to the brow lift procedure
What does a Brow Lift accomplish?
As the face ages, it droops; this principle applies to the neck, cheeks, and of course, the brow and forehead region.
The main signs of brow/forehead aging are as follows:
- Multiple horizontal wrinkles in the forehead
- Multiple vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows
- Eyebrows that sit low, causing the appearance of excess skin over the eyelids
- Eyebrows that are flat or sloped down and outwards, instead of beautifully arched
An Endoscopic Brow Lift aims to correct the signs of aging to restore the forehead and brow to a smooth, naturally elevated position.
The Aesthetically Ideal Brows and Forehead
A youthful forehead has no sag of the forehead or temple skin. At rest, the forehead should be smooth, and there should be no frown lines between the brows.
The eyebrow should sit slightly above the orbit (eye socket), and the tail of the brow should sit slightly higher than the inner part, before dropping off slightly again at outermost portion.
Who is a candidate for Brow Lift?
During your consultation, Dr. Tong will make sure that you are a suitable candidate for a Brow Lift.
If you have some or all of the following signs:
- descended brows
- flattened or outward sloping brow arches
- multiple lines on the forehead
- excess skin from the brow area coming down over the lids
… a Forehead Lift is likely beneficial.
Since forehead descent does not typically occur until middle age, patients are usually middle aged or older.
In general, patients should also be in good health and be relatively fit. We have smokers quit at least two weeks prior to surgery, and not restart for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
Issues to consider with Brow Lift Surgery
Aging of the Eyelids Usually Accompanies Aging of the Forehead
Aging of the upper lids and brow often occur in tandem; this combination synergistically worsens the appearance around the eyes. Endoscopic forehead lift, together with Blepharoplasty, is often performed simultaneously for optimal aesthetic improvement.
Confusion with Blepharoplasty
Patients often mistakenly think a Blepharoplasty will lift the brows; these patients are in fact looking for the results that a Brow Lift provides. In many cases, these patients would benefit from both upper lid Blepharoplasty and Brow Lift.
Endoscopic vs. Open Approach
The endoscopic approach is an advanced method of forehead lift that allows for Minimal incisions, fewer risks, and shorter recovery time, as compared to the traditional (open) brow lift. In some patients, an open brow lift may be a more appropriate option. Patients wanting a brow lift who wish to simultaneously elevate an excessively low hairline, or lower an excessively high hairline, may opt for the open technique. Dr. Tong will discuss the best approaches for forehead rejuvenation with you during your consultation.
Incisions for Brow Lift
All surgical procedures that involve incisions create a scar. It is the role of the plastic surgeon to place the incisions inconspicuously, and to stitch the incisions carefully to minimize the appearance of scars.
One of the major advantages of the endoscopic approach vs. the open approach is the length of incisions. Whereas the coronal (traditional) technique means making an incision over the top of the head, from ear to ear, the endoscopic approach requires 3 -5 incisions small incisions, each typically 2-3 cm in length. They are hidden within the hair-bearing scalp. These scars tend to heal well and with the presence of your hair, are difficult to see once sufficient healing has occurred. No hair is shaved during the surgery, so there are not ‘bald’ areas afterwards.
Endoscopic Brow/Forehead Lift Procedure Details
Your Brow Lift is performed under IV sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. You are not required to stay overnight after the procedure. Dr. Tong performs your surgery in the private CAAASF accredited surgery centre, within his practice facility at 199 Avenue Road, Toronto.
Dr. Tong makes three small incisions behind the hairline centrally, while another small incision is made at each temple. Through these small incisions, the endoscopic instruments are inserted under the skin. The skin and muscles of the forehead are freed from the strong attachments that prevent them from being elevated. Dr. Tong weakens the muscles that cause furrowing of the brows (the corrugators muscles). The forehead is the elevated to obtain a naturally positioned brow arch, with emphasis on lifting of the lateral brow. The lift also elevates the skin around the temple. Dr. Tong secures the position of the forehead with stitches and the endoscope incisions are closed. He places a light dressing; you are gently awakened from anesthesia.
Recovery after Brow Lift
Brow Lift Recovery Immediately after Surgery
After your Brow Lift, you are brought to the post anesthesia recovery room, and our nurses watch over you. Once the effects of anesthesia wear off, you are allowed to go home, accompanied by your friend or family member. You will have a head dressing when you go home.
Brow Lift Recovery at Home
We encourage you to relax once at home. You may do non-strenuous activities such as making small meals, watching television, and reading. Dr. Tong will see you 1-2 days after surgery to remove your dressing and check on your progress. Expect to have bruising and swelling around the eyes as this is where it tends to settle.
Return Visits after Forehead Lift
At one week after surgery you will see Dr. Tong again to remove stitches. Most patients return to work (non-strenuous) after 10-14 days, although you may do so earlier if you do not mind the visible bruising. Dr. Tong will inform you of activity restrictions. Light exercise (e.g. walking) is permitted at 1 week after surgery. Strenuous activity (weight lifting, aerobics, jogging, yoga, Pilates, martial arts) may generally be started at 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Things to Expect as you Heal from Brow Lift Surgery
In the beginning you may notice that the brows look higher than anticipated. This is normal as we expect some settling of the brow position due to gravity and the forehead skin to stretch with time. You will have subsequent visits to monitor your progress at 6 weeks, and 6 months after surgery, at which time post-operative photos will be taken
Like any procedure, Brow Lift surgery has risks and complications associated with it. The risks are low, but do exist. At your consultation, Dr. Tong will go over the pertinent potential risks and complications associated with Endoscopic Brow Lift.
Become Educated about Brow Lift in Toronto
Do your research before making a decision about your plastic surgery and plastic surgeon. The initial Brow Lift consultation may take over one hour to complete. There is a great deal information to be presented, and Dr. Tong will make sure that you understand all the important aspects. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to view photographs of many examples of Dr. Tong’s work. It is our goal to make you an educated patient. We know that the educated patient will make a better choice about their surgery, and their surgeon.
To learn more about how Dr. Tong can help you with your forehead and facial rejuvenation concerns, set up a Toronto Forehead Lift consultation with Dr. Tong by giving us a call at (416) 972-0999. No doctor’s referral is needed. Alternatively, let us give you a call; just fill out our contact form and we will call you on the same or the next business day.
See Dr. Tong’s work in our Forehead Lift before and after photos.
Endoscopic Brow Lift at a Glance
- Elevating the inner brow too much (surprised look)
- Patients often need Blepharoplasty in conjunction with Brow Lift, make sure your plastic surgeon evaluates this