A forehead lift does just what it says - lifts the forehead, and with it the brows and tissues around the eyes, to give patients a more rested, alert, youthful look. Until a few years ago, the technique resulted in only moderate improvement that didn't last very long. Today, however, the rapid progress in plastic surgery has made the forehead lift a relatively simple and painless procedure that promises significant results and can last anywhere from 8 to 10 years or longer.
A forehead lift is most often used to improve such facial characteristics as drooping eyebrows, ''hooding'' or drooping tissue at the outer part of the eyes, furrowed forehead and frown lines at the top of the nose. The desired result is a more alert and less tried appearance, smoother forehead skin and softer lines between the eyes. Often, a forehead lift is performed in conjunction with a face lift.
Forehead Lift candidate ?
Men and women of all ages benefit from forehead lifts. Older People may request a forehead lift when, due to the natural aging process, their eyebrows seem lower on the face and tissues at the outer part of their eyelids droop. People who are older may also find that they have horizontal wrinkles at the top of the nose, creases in the forehead or drooping at the tip of the nose. A forehead lift can improve all of these facial characteristics. In younger people, a forehead lift can raise congenitally low eyebrows that give the face a ''sad'' expression. In people whose brows are so low that they interfere with the upper field of vision, the forehead lift can be performed as reconstructive procedure.
One may be a good candidate for the procedure if one has one or more of the facial characteristic - sagging brows, tissue that hangs down at the outer part of the eyelids, horizontal wrinkling on the forehead, or a drooping nose. Deep furrows between the eyes also can be reduced trough a forehead lift.
Risks with surgery ?
While all surgeries carry some risk, and plastic surgery is no exception, complications are rare when a forehead lift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. All patients experience numbness in the top of the scalp following a forehead lift because some nerves leading to the scalp are divided during the surgery. Most sensation will return in most cases. Some patients experience thinning of the hair for a few months, because hair follicles may go into a resting state as a result of surgery. This is a temporary condition in most cases. Remember, however, that while side effects and complications can occur, they are rare. In fact, in the hands of a qualified plastic surgeon, the ''pros'' are so many and the ''cons'' so few, the forehead lift is considered to be one of the easiest, most painless plastic surgery procedures performed today.
What should your first step be?
We will ask you to come in for an initial consultation, during which we will conduct a routine examination, and ask about your medical history. We will discuss factors that will determine the possibilities for and extent of the surgery, including your age, pervious plastic surgeries, skin condition, and other variables. We will also explain the surgical technique for a forehead lift, the anesthesia, where the surgery will be performed, and the expected results, In addition, you will be asked to pose for photographs that may be used during surgery and to follow your progress later.
When you meet us, be sure you ask any questions you have about the procedure, such as anticipated risks and benefits and the recovery period. Also discuss your expectations and motivations us. Remember, a forehead lift can make you look younger and more alert, but will not stop the aging process.
What will you be asked to do before Surgery?
Depending on the anesthesia to be used, we may ask you to abstain f rom eating and drink for several hours before surgery, and will counsel you regarding the use any prescription and over-the-counter medications you may take. You will be asked to stop some medications you take. If you smoke, you will be asked to stop before surgery, because smoking can retard the healing process.
You may be given pre-operative sedation, and your hair will be tied with rubber bands in front of and behind the incision. Then, depending on the extent of the procedure, you will be given either local anesthesia, which will numb the incision area and forehead, or general anesthesia, which will make you sleep throughout the operation.
What will happen during Surgery?
The surgery may take one to two hours. Unless you have a high or receding hairline, an incision will be made across the top of your head a few inches behind your hairline to minimize the possibility of the scar being visible. If you do have a high or receding hairline, the incision will be made at the hairline, in which case the resultant thin scar line is covered with your hair thus camouflaged. The purpose of the operation is to interrupt the downward pull of muscles that cause facial features to droop. This is accomplished by removing several strips of your forehead muscle. Removal of this muscle tissue helps maintain the lift and gives you a longer lasting result. In addition, if you have deep, vertical furrows at the top of your nose, we will remove a portion of the muscles between the eyebrows.
When these steps are completed, the forehead skin will be gently pulled upward, and any excess skin at the point of incision will be removed. We will close the incision with a series of stitches, wash your face and hair to prevent irritation, and remove the bands from your hair. Gauze padding will be placed across the incision, and your head will be wrapped with a stretch or elastic bandage.
How will you feel after Surgery?
Following surgery, you may feel some temporary pain that can be controlled with medication, which we will prescribe. Some bruising and swelling are natural, and will begin to decrease in a week to 10 days. Most of the swelling and bruising will not be noticeable after three to four weeks. Bandages will be removed one or two days following surgery. Stitches or staples used to close the incision will be removed in 10 days to two weeks following surgery. Until that time, they will be hidden within your hairline.
When can you get back to your normal routine?
How soon you return to your normal routine depends on how you heal and how you feel. Most patients begin to resume their normal routines very quickly following a forehead lift, usually within a week after surgery. Generally, they are back to work within a week to 10 days. Sports should be limited to walks, short jogs or a few laps around the pool for about three weeks, and contact sports should be avoided for four to six weeks.
Is there any minimal invasive technique for a brow lift?
Yes, a brow lift can be done both endoscopically and using contour threads/barbed threads. These are minimally invasive procedures which cause minimal scarring and give great results. The down time is also considerably less than the conventional brow lift.