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Also known as a brow lift, a forehead lift is often performed to treat conditions associated with aging.
If you're considering a forehead lift (brow lift)
A forehead lift is often performed to treat conditions associated with aging. It may be done in conjuction with other rejuvenative surgery to achieve a more harmonious facial appearance. A forehead lift is also appropriate for treatment of certain inherited traits. Younger adults who have a low brow or who already have deep frown lines due to stress or overactivity of muscles may benefit from this procedure.
The best candidates for forehead lift
Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for a forehead lift:
-sagging or low position of the eyebrows, creating a tired or sad appearance
-deep horizontal creases across the forehead
-frown lines, or furrows, between the eyebrows and sometimes across the top of the nose
A forehead lift can improve all of these problems. It may often be performed at the same time as a facelift which removes excess skin and tightens muscles in the mid and lower face. If there is significant skin overhand in the upper eyelids, or puffy bags beneath your eyes eyelid surgery may be recommended in addition to a forehead lift.
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk
Fortunately, significant complications from aesthetic forehead surgery are infrequent. Every year, thounsands of people undergo successful forehead lift surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results.
Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection and reactions to anesthesia.
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your plastic surgeon, both before and after your surgery.
Planning your surgery
A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to forehead lift surgery. During your consultation your plastic surgeon may ask you to look in a mirror and point out exactly what you would like to see improved. You should be very frank in discussing anything about your appearance that bothers you, as well as what you hope to acheive with surgery. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be acheived.
You should come to your consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions you may have, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including aesthetic eyelid or facial surgery, and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
Preparing for your surgery
There are a variety of ways to elevate the brow and correct aging changes in the forehead area. Your plastic surgeon will closely examine your entire forehead and upper eyelid region, noting the muscle activity when you assume various facial expressions. The particular surgical technique that your surgeon recommends will depend on many factors such as the position of your eyebrows, the amount of excess upper eyelid skin and the height of your hairline.
If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.
Where your surgery will be performed
Forehead lift surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office based surgical suite.
Types of anesthesia
Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing forehead lift surgery, although general anesthesia may be desired in some instances. The decision of anesthesia will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and surgeon preference. In any case, your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.
In many instances, 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 some cases, toward the middle of the scalp. The incision is designed to be inconspicuous when healed. Through the forehead lift incision, your plastic surgeon can modify or remove parts of the muscles that cause wrinkling and frown lines, remove excess skin, and lift your eyebrows to a more pleasing level.
Another forehead 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 several tiny incisions in the scalp and allows the plastic surgeon to see and work on the various internal structures of the forehead. The endoscopic technique has the advantage of requiring very minimal incisions, but it may not be equally beneficial for all patients. In some instances, alternate methods may be preferable, or a combination of endoscopic and other techniques may be used.
Sometime, if your main concern is frown lines between your eyebrows or across the top of your nose, a limited endoscopic procedure to correct these problems can be done. Alternatively, if your are having upper eyelid surgery performed to remove excess skin, it may be possible to treat your frown lines by the same upper eyelid incisions.
After your surgery
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly.
The first evening after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. Initially, you may experience some mild discomfort that can be controlled with oral medication. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications, and you should not smoke or be exposed to heavy secondary smoke for a while following surgery.
You will notice some temporary puffiness and discoloration that may involve the eyelid and cheek areas as well. Typically, swelling and bruising will be almost totally resolved within a couple of weeks. You may use camoflage makeup almost immediately. If incisions were placed in front of the hairline, you should be careful not to apply makeup directly on any stitches. Expect temporary numbness and possibly some itching of the scalp as the nerves heal.
Any head dressings and drain tubes that have been inserted are usually removed one or two days after surgery. Showering and washing your hair will be delayed a day or two later. Stitches or clips, if used, will be removed within a couple of weeks.
You should avoid straining, bending and lifting during the early postoperative period. In many instances, however, you will be able to resume most of your normal activites in ten days or less.
You will be advised to wait several weeks before resuming strenuous activity and exercise. You should temporarily avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the long-term, be conscientious about the use of a sunblock to protect your skin.
Your new look
A forehead lift eliminates the tired, worried or angry expression often caused by low eyebrow position and deep forehead furrows. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks to get an accurate picture of how you look.
How long the results of your forehead lift will last depends on many variables including your heredity and liftstyle factors. Even though the aging process continues, patients are usually happy with their appearance for many years following a forehead lift. Some patients find that they want to make additional improvements at a later time.
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Using a delicate balance of science and art, our physicians can customize every surgery to meet your personal needs and goals. Our surgeons: Dr. Barbara Davies, Dr. Carl Pearl, Dr. Luke Curtsinger, Dr. Matthew McLeod, and Dr. Scott Vann recognize that no two people are alike. You are unique and we are, too.
We now offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic surgery. Contact us today to begin your body transformation.
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