Forehead lift surgery is also known as a browlift, and it’s used to correct saggy skin on the forehead, upper eyelids, and eyebrows. Patients may see improvements in the look of wrinkles between the eyes and on the forehead. But, it is not only for visual appeal. The procedure is an option for functional reasons, such as lifting eyebrows that hang low enough to block the upper part of the patient’s vision. Some patients may also elect to have a face lift, laser peel, or other procedure at the same time as the forehead lift surgery in order to get better results and a more youthful appearance.
Prior to forehead lift surgery, a doctor examines the patient and does a psychological evaluation. Good candidates for forehead lift surgery have horizontal forehead wrinkles, sagging eyebrows, or deep furrows between their eyes. They may also have tissue hanging down on the outer edge of the eyelids or a nose that doesn’t work properly. Blood work is often required before surgery, and sometimes a urine sample is requested so the doctor can rule out possible complications.
Forehead lift surgery is usually done in a doctor’s office or outpatient surgical center. Patients are awake during the procedure. They may get medicine to relax and will get anesthesia so they don’t feel pain, but they will likely feel the surgeon stretching the skin. The patient’s hair is pushed away from the forehead, and hair on the cut line may be trimmed or shaved. At ear level, the surgeon makes an incision that continues across the forehead at the hair line. Some physicians use an endoscope with a small camera attached to guide cutting, and they make several small cuts as opposed to longer incisions. Excess tissue and muscle is released. Doctors then get rid of excess skin and smooth the remaining skin over the forehead. Eyebrows may be elevated. Before the surgeon uses stitches or staples to close the incision, the patient’s hair and face are washed to prevent irritation of the scalp skin.
The treated area is bandaged to prevent bleeding and numbness. Bandages are removed within a day or two, and stitches or clips are removed in about two weeks. Doctors recommend keeping the head elevated for two or three days to prevent swelling. Some pain and discomfort is expected, and so is bruising and swelling around the cheeks and eyes. This should disappear within a week or less. During the healing process, nerves in the affected area will regrow, which could result in itching or tingling on the forehead or scalp. These sensations may last up to six months.