Overhanging skin in the upper eyelids can be addressed in two ways: an upper eyelid lift or a brow lift (and sometimes both procedures). In the past, surgeons typically chose an upper eyelid lift to correct sagging. Today, a brow lift is most often used to create the same result.
A brow lift can be performed alone or at the same time as a facelift, which also removes excess skin and tightens muscles in the mid- and lower-face.
Younger adults who have a naturally low brow, or already have deep frown lines due to stress or muscle overactivity, may also benefit from a brow lift.
Sometimes patients focus their attention on the excess skin in the upper eyelids, not realizing that sagging eyebrows are the actual cause of the problem.
Dr. Gantous will explain the potential benefits of an eyelid surgery or brow lift procedure as they apply to you.
How A Brow Lift Is Performed
The surgical technique that Dr. Gantous recommends will depend on the position of your eyebrows, amount of excess upper eyelid skin, and the height of your hairline.
Often, an incision is made across the top of the scalp beginning above the ears and hidden within the hair. Sometimes the incision may be placed at the front of the hairline or in the middle of the scalp and is designed to be inconspicuous when healed. Through the incision, Dr. Gantous can modify (or remove) parts of the muscles that cause frown lines, remove excess skin, and lift your eyebrows to a more youthful level. This type of operation is normally referred to as a forehead lift because it addresses the entire forehead, not just the brows.
Another brow lift technique uses an endoscope—a long, thin tube with a light on the end, attached to a video camera. The endoscope is inserted through three to four small incisions in the scalp and allows Dr. Gantous to see the inside structure of the forehead. The endoscopic technique has the advantage of requiring minimal incisions but it may not be beneficial for all patients. A brow lift performed endoscopically leaves almost no conspicuous scar.
A similar technique that Dr. Gantous uses frequently is performed with single incisions in the scalp behind the hairline. The tissues are elevated over the deep muscle layer, released, and the brows repositioned where desired.
If your main concern is frown lines between your eyebrows, a limited endoscopic procedure can be performed to correct these problems. If you are having upper eyelid surgery performed, it may also be possible to treat frown lines by way of the incisions that are made in the upper eyelid.
The Recovery Process
Complications from a brow lift are infrequent though sometimes the normal numbness and itching that follow the surgery may last a few months. Sometimes patients experience minor hair loss where the scalp incisions were made, but this is usually temporary and easy to conceal.
You can use makeup almost immediately. Temporary numbness and minor itching of the scalp is common as the nerves heal. Swelling and bruising should subside within just two weeks, leaving you with an accurate idea of the final result.