How long does it take to recover from a brow lift procedure?
It typically takes one to two weeks to recover from your brow lift procedure. Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After your surgery, your surgeon will give you and your caregiver detailed instructions about your postoperative care, including information about:
- Incision care
- Typical symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complications
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
What can I expect in the early stages of my brow lift recovery?
- Your surgeon may suggest you use cold packs around your eyes for forty-eight hours to reduce the swelling.
- Pain is typically not a significant problem in brow lifts. There is, however, some discomfort and tightness from ear to ear across the top of the head and brow. Most patients describe their forehead as feeling tight and somewhat numb the night of surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with pain medications should you need them.
- Drains are usually not necessary in the brow area when doing a brow lift.
- Temporary bruising, swelling, and numbness are common the first night after surgery. Maximum swelling occurs forty-eight to seventy-two hours post-surgery and begins to subside on the fourth or fifth postoperative day.
- You may need to go to the bathroom frequently because of the intravenous fluids you were given during your surgery. Drink plenty of fluids to keep up with the fluid loss. As your body begins to balance itself, it will rid itself of this extra 'water weight' and return to normal.
- It is best to sleep with your back and head elevated for approximately five to seven days.
- Showering and bathing are normally permitted one or two days after surgery. Use hair conditioner to help wash and clean hair that becomes matted or knotted during surgery. Be cautious when applying hot water, hairdryers, and combs; your scalp will be numb, so they may damage your skin and hair.
- Your surgeon will likely ask you to come back to his office a day or two after surgery so he or she can evaluate your healing.
What can I expect in my first few weeks of recovery?
- Bruising from a brow lift appears less in the brow than in neighboring areas. As a result, any bleeding usually collects below the eyelids and bruises the lower lids, even if the lower lids are not operated on. Bruising usually peaks on the third to fifth day and resolves over two to three weeks.
- During the first week of recovery, you should be mildly active, including going for walks to aid circulation. However, do not attempt heavy lifting or strenuous activity.
- Your surgeon will remove your sutures or staples approximately one week after surgery.
- Sensation in your scalp may be temporarily reduced. The feeling will begin to return over the first few weeks after surgery, and your scalp will start to feel 'itchy' as the nerves reawaken. Total numbness behind the incision in an open brow lift will usually persist for nine to twelve months post-surgery, sometimes longer in rare instances.
- You likely will be able to return to work after a week and to full activity within a few weeks.
- You can resume driving when you can drive as well as you did before surgery, typically in the second or third week after surgery. You need to be able to brake, respond, and turn quickly.
What can I expect after a month?
- You should have returned to your normal rhythm at work by this time, depending on the amount of physical exertion required to perform your duties.
- It is not unusual to have hair loss next to the incisions starting 1-2 months after surgery. These “stunned” hair follicles normally start re-growing 3 to 6 months after surgery, so do not be alarmed.
- You can begin exercise and workout routines. Avoid any activity that causes discomfort or pain until you are further along in your recovery process. When you return to the activity, start at half speed and increase to your normal routine as long as you do not feel any pain during or after your workout.