Over time, facial features undergo age-related changes that may make you look tired, angry, sad, or older than you feel. These changes often occur first in the forehead and eyebrow region. A forehead lift, also known as a brow lift, performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Joseph DiBello, MD reduces forehead lines and creases, and can improve frown lines that may appear between your eyebrows. Sagging eyebrows may also be lifted with this procedure, restoring a firmer, more youthful appearance to the upper portion of your face. Two alternative procedures for lifting the forehead are a coronal forehead lift, and the endoscopic forehead lift, which is described in this animation.
Why a Forehead Lift?
The aging process and environmental factors, like sun damage, cause the skin’s support network of collagen and elastin to break down. As a result, the skin loses its structure and elasticity and becomes lax. Additionally, layers of muscle weaken, causing lines and wrinkles in the brow region to become increasingly apparent. An endoscopic forehead lift tightens loose skin on the forehead and adjusts underlying muscles which contribute to frown lines.
Prior to the start of your procedure, surgical guidelines will be drawn on and around your forehead. You will be given one of two types of anesthesia to make you as comfortable as possible. General anesthesia causes you to sleep through the procedure; local anesthesia with IV sedation causes the surrounding tissues to be numb and allows you to relax, but you may not be entirely asleep. Prior to the start of your procedure, surgical guidelines will be drawn on and around your forehead. You will be given one of two types of anesthesia to make you as comfortable as possible. General anesthesia causes you to sleep through the procedure; local anesthesia with IV sedation causes the surrounding tissues to be numb and allows you to relax, but you may not be entirely asleep.
An endoscopic forehead lift is performed using a surgical video device, called an endoscope, and other surgical instruments inserted into small incisions within the hairline around the forehead. Dr. DiBello will loosen and separate the skin and underlying muscle tissues from the frontal bone, which makes up the forehead. Small portions of the corrugator muscles, which form frown lines at the bridge of the nose, are snipped away to remove frown lines and prevent new ones from forming. The brow will be lifted and fixed in a higher position either by placing sutures beneath the skin, or by inserting absorbable fixation devices between the tissues. The incisions will be closed with sutures, and bandages may be placed around your head. The internal sutures or devices will often dissolve in approximately nine months, after the muscles and connective tissue layer, called the fascia, have healed and re-fastened in their new elevated position.
Recovery and Results
Dr. DiBello may recommend cold compresses or pain medication, and that you keep your head elevated as you recover, which will help to reduce bruising and swelling. Bruising normally fades quickly and any non-absorbable, external sutures will be removed in approximately seven to ten days. You should avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting or exercise, as recommended by Dr. DiBello, to allow your body sufficient time to heal. Scars will be well hidden within your hairline and you should be able to notice the results very soon after your procedure. A forehead lift can significantly reduce the appearance of creases, frown lines and a sagging brow line and will rejuvenate your facial expressions to reflect the way you feel.