A forehead lift or “brow lift” is a procedure that corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. A Brow lift can restore a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes.

In a brow lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines creating a more animated appearance. The incision is hidden just behind the hairline.

Who Would Benefit From A Brow Lift?

A Brow lift can help patients of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity but is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range. A more alert and refreshed look can be obtained in individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose.

A Brow lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to provide a smoother overall look to the face. In some instances, a patient who believes they need upper-eyelid surgery will find that a brow lift better meets their surgical goals.

Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper-eyelid surgery may still be good candidates for brow lift. Before deciding to have brow lift, you should think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Granzow at his Manhattan Beach Office.

All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty And Risk

Complications are rare and usually minor, however, the nerves that control eyebrow movement may be injured on one or both sides, resulting in a loss of ability to raise the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead. This complication may require additional surgery to correct the problem.

Scarring is also a rare complication. A wide scar may need to be removed so a new, thinner scar may result. Also, some patients may experience hair loss along the scar edges.

Loss of sensation along or just beyond the incision line is common, but is usually temporary.  Loss of sensation may be permanent in some patients.

Infection and bleeding are very rare, but are possibilities.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Granzow’s instructions both before and after surgery.

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Planning Your Surgery

During your consultation in Manhattan Beach, Dr. Granzow will discuss your goals for the surgery and ask you about certain medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to develop large scars. Be sure to inform Dr. Granzow of any previous facial surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any prescription, over-the-counter or homeopathic medications — including aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.

If you decide to proceed with a brow lift, Dr. Granzow will explain the surgical technique, the recommended type of anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, the risks and the costs involved. Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Granzow any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results of surgery.

Preparing For Your Surgery

Dr. Granzow will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. If you smoke, it’s especially important to stop.  Smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas that can affect the outcome of your surgery.

If you have very short hair, you might want to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars during the healing process.

Whether your brow lift is being done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

A brow lift is usually done in an outpatient surgery center or in the hospital.

The Surgery

Your head will not be shaved, however, hair that is growing directly in front of the incision line may be trimmed.

The scar incision is hidden in the hairline so that the scar won’t be visible.

To avoid adding even more height to the forehead, if your hairline is high or receding, the incision may be placed just at the hairline. In male patients, whose hairstyles often don’t lend themselves as well to incision coverage, special planning is sometimes necessary for concealing the scar.

The skin of the forehead is lifted so that the underlying tissue and or muscles can be removed, altered or released. The eyebrows can often be elevated and the excess skin can be trimmed away at the incision point to help create a smoother, more youthful appearance. Afterwards, the incision is closed with stitches or clips.

After Your Surgery

Patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with pain medication. As a preventive measure, patients who are prone to headaches may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthesia during surgery.

Keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to keep the swelling down. This swelling may also affect the cheeks and eyes and should begin to disappear in a week or so.

Numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching as the nerves heal. These sensations can take as long as six months to fully disappear. Most stitches will be removed within seven to ten days.

While permanent hair loss is rare, some of your hair around the incision may fall out or temporarily be a bit thinner than usual. Normal growth usually resumes within a few weeks or months.

Getting Back to Normal

Plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days.

Most patients are back to work or school in a week to 10 days. Vigorous physical activity such as: jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure should be avoided for several weeks, as well as prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.

Your New Look

Most patients don’t realize how much their sagging forehead contributed to the signs of aging until they see how much younger and more rested they appear after the lift. Having a brow lift doesn’t stop the clock. Your face will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Granzow at his office in Manhattan Beach, contact our office at (310) 882-6261.