How are brow lift procedures performed?
A brow lift is typically an outpatient procedure. There are several different ways to perform a brow lift, with some options being more invasive than others. A brow lift usually involves incisions in the hair-bearing scalp, but sometimes incisions are made in the forehead or just above the eyebrows.
The type of brow lift you undergo will be based on your facial features and aesthetic preferences. Your aesthetic plastic surgeon will assess your problem, consider your hairline and hairstyle preferences, and recommend an approach that will yield the least scarring and the best cosmetic results.
What types of brow lifts are there?
There are various brow-lift methods, which involve different length incisions in different locations.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
This is the most common method. Your surgeon will insert an endoscope (a long, thin tube with a light at the end attached to a video camera) through several tiny incisions in the scalp, which allows your surgeon to see and work on the various internal structures of the forehead. The endoscopic technique requires very minimal incisions, but it may not be equally beneficial for all patients. This option is most common in patients who have mild to moderate brow droop and horizontal wrinkles.
Open Brow Lift
This method is also called a classic, coronal or trichophytic brow lift. Your surgeon will begin by making a long incision with several different options: across the top of the head (for a hidden scar), at the hairline (to avoid lengthening the forehead, or even shorten the forehead) or in one of your forehead creases (the best option is for bald men). The surgeon then lifts the skin away from the underlying tissues, loosens the muscles, and removes any excess skin or fat. He or she lifts the brow, and then stitches the brow into its new position. This option is most common in patients who have advanced brow droop and deep wrinkles.
Limited Incision Technique
This hybrid technique of both procedures, sometimes called lateral, is non-endoscopic with limited incisions. It uses a small portion of the ends of the coronal technique incision to elevate the outside part of the eyebrows under direct vision without an endoscope. This technique hides the resulting scars in the temporal hairline, even in balding men with little temporal hair. While this procedure does not address the center area of the brow, it can reduce wrinkles at the corners of the eyes, commonly referred to as 'crow's feet.' Since many surgeons pair a forehead lift procedure with an upper blepharoplasty, they will make incisions in the upper eyelid to complete the forehead lift, treating the 'frown' lines between the eyebrows and raising the inside part of the eyebrows.
If you have a high forehead, you may undergo a subcutaneous lift to avoid raising your hairline further. In this procedure, your incision is near the hairline, leaving visible scars you can hide with your hair.