Brow Lift or Forehead Lift?

eyebrow lift - forehead lift
A high eyebrow, smooth eyelids and wide, open eyes is one of the sure signs of youth.  But as we age, gravity and the loss of firmness and elasticity can cause the eyebrows to droop and create a “hooded” look above the eyes.  Fortunately, a cosmetic surgery brow lift is a relatively quick and effective option to eliminate sagging brows and foreheads.

What is the difference between a brow lift and a forehead lift?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, you are not alone. It’s a trick question.  A brow lift and a forehead lift are two interchangeable terms for essentially the same procedure.  There are some slight variations in technique, mostly related to the incision, but the surgery’s goal is to raise eyebrows that have fallen below the boney ridge above the eye and to smooth horizontal wrinkles from the forehead.

What incision techniques are used for a brow lift?

Endoscopic Brow Lift – In this less invasive technique, three to five small incisions are made behind the hairline. An endoscope, which is a small camera on the end of a tube, is fed through the incisions.  The plastic surgeon uses the images to perform surgical dissection to lift the eyebrows and anchor the skin and tissues securely to ensure a long lasting result.

Open Brow Lift – An open brow lift is employed when there is more skin to pull.  The incision in an open approach is behind the hair line from one side of the head to the other.  The excess skin and the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) are pulled tighter, resulting in the eyebrow position being pulled up.   The SMAS is a thin, Saran Wrap type layer between the skin and the muscles of the face.  In the past, plastic surgeons would simply pull the skin tighter during various facelift surgeries.  But this often resulted in a wind-swept look and the results did not last as long or look as natural as today’s technique of adjusting both the SMAS and the skin.

How do I know if I need a brow lift?
The simple answer is that you probably need a brow lift if your eyebrows have fallen below the boney ridge above your eye.  When this happens, it can create a tired or angry look that is not able to be fixed with any other types of procedures.  Brow lifts are often performed in combination with eye lifts because of the excess skin that is usually found above the eye.  During surgery, the brow lifts is performed first, which slightly tightens the skin above the eye, and then the eye lift (blepharoplasty) is completed.

If you get Botox injections in your forehead every few months, a great option while doing a brow lift is to also have your forehead muscles surgically weakened.  This will have the same effect as Botox, but the results will last years instead of months.

What is the recovery time for a brow lift?
A simple brow lift offers a relatively quick recovery time.  Plan to be back in action in 1-2 weeks depending on your incision technique.  An open brow lift is more invasive and will thus cause more swelling and a recovery closer to the two-week mark.

You can cut down on your recovery time by keeping your head above your heart (sleep on an incline) to reduce swelling and by taking anti-inflammatory medications.  Always stay ahead of your pain with prescribed pain medications rather than playing catch-up and follow your doctorís post-op recovery instructions.

How much does a brow lift cost?
Typical brow lifts range from $5,200 – $8,500. The biggest factor in brow lift pricing is the plastic surgeon’s experience followed by geographic location.  Surgery will cost more with a very experienced surgeon in a large metropolitan city such as New York or Los Angeles.  But when shopping for something as important as your new face, always base your decision on the surgeon’s qualifications and your rapport rather than costs.  As with any plastic surgery procedure, the fees you will pay are comprised of the surgeon’s fee, the facility fee, the anesthesia fee and any necessary medications.


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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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