Aging takes a toll on many parts of your body, but it’s most visible on your face. Collagen production starts to decrease around age 20, and it continues to decrease at a rate of about 1% each year.
As a result of less collagen, the skin loses its elasticity, and your eyebrows sink closer to your eyes. Your forehead, too, takes on lines and wrinkles. The total effect can make you look tired, sad, or mad all the time.
The good news is that a brow lift can rejuvenate your face and make it look more youthful. It can also help improve the sag around your eyes.
Here at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, with offices in Scottsdale, Peoria, and Phoenix, Arizona, board-certified oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer strives to achieve the most natural-looking results in his patients.
Dr. Heringer uses state-of-the-art technology for all the procedures he performs, including the popular brow lift. If you’re thinking of having a brow lift, you probably have questions, so we’ve put together this guide to get you in the know.
What a brow lift accomplishes
A brow lift directly addresses the effects of aging on the upper part of your face — the lined and sagging forehead, the drooping eyebrows, and the apparent “squint” of the eyes.
By lifting the skin, muscle, and soft tissue, you get a smoother, younger appearance, as well as:
- Eyes that appear more alert
- A more open and approachable look
- Fewer visible wrinkles
- Tighter skin
- An improved self-image
Since you may also have sagging skin above your eyes, Dr. Heringer often combines a brow lift with blepharoplasty — surgery that lifts drooping eyelids — though that’s by no means required.
How an endoscopic brow lift differs from a classic one
Dr. Heringer uses a minimally invasive procedure for your brow lift, one that provides both natural-looking results and minimal scarring. It’s called an endoscopic lift.
With the endoscopic lift, he makes a few small incisions in your scalp around your hairline. Next, he inserts small instruments and an endoscope — a small camera on the end of a thin tube — into one of the incisions just under the skin. He uses small anchors to secure the internal tissue before removing the instruments and closing up with either stitches or staples.
The entire procedure takes about an hour and a half, and you’ll be able to go home afterward, though you’ll be groggy from the anaesthetic and will need someone to drive you.
The endoscopic process differs from the classic brow lift, which uses a single, continuous incision starting at ear level and moving up around your hairline. Because the incision is much larger and deeper, it’s a more invasive procedure and requires a longer recovery time.
The possible side effects of a brow lift
Though less invasive than a classic lift, an endoscopic lift still comes with risks. Some of these include:
Though Dr. Heringer does his best to hide the scars behind your hairline, it’s possible that some might still be visible.
Changes in skin sensation
As the face and forehead are highly innervated, a brow lift can cause either temporary or permanent numbness on the forehead and/or top of the scalp if nerves are touched.
Asymmetry in brow position
It’s possible that either one or both eyebrows may appear too high following a brow lift, though this asymmetry may even out during healing. Persistent shape or positioning problems can be addressed through additional surgery.
Because the surgeon is working along your hairline, a brow lift may cause an elevated hairline or hair loss where he made the incisions. Hair loss may resolve on its own. If it doesn’t, scar excision or hair grafting are appropriate steps to take.
A brow lift is a type of major surgery, and like all others, risks also include bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to the anesthesia.
What to expect after your brow lift procedure
Following the procedure, you’re likely to experience pain for a number of days, and swelling that can last from a few days to a few weeks. Dr. Heringer will give you specific aftercare instructions, which may include:
- Rest with your head elevated
- Take over-the-counter pain medication
- Apply cold compresses or ice packs to relieve swelling
- Avoid exposing your incisions to pressure, motion, or water
The doctor will let you know when it’s okay to resume your normal activities, including washing your hair.
Are you deflated by face sag or tired of perpetually looking tired? Consider the benefits of a brow lift. Call Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery at any of our three locations or schedule an appointment online.