Cosmetic Surgery Question: What Is A Browlift?

Nobody can entirely escape the effects of aging. Often the first casualties of age are the brow and forehead. The skin begins to lose its elasticity, and various factors—like the sun, wind, and gravity—pull at the skin, resulting in frown lines, forehead wrinkles and heavy eyebrows. These signs can be felt even in your thirties. People might think you’re tired or angry because of your forehead lines, even when that isn’t the case. You may feel a heaviness in your forehead, which can make you become sleepy. Your drooping eyebrows may even limit your peripheral vision.

The solution is the forehead or browlift, also called a browplasty. What is a browlift? A browlift tightens excess loose skin, smooths forehead wrinkling and modifies drooping brows. If necessary, the surgeon can remove part of the muscle that causes vertical frown lines between the brows. People who want a browplasty can have several options. One option, called endoscopic surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure that involves several small incisions being made just behind the hairline. Fiber optic equipment is used to release and elevate brow tissue. This procedure may result in less risk of numbness and scarring, along with a faster recovery time. Other techniques use longer incisions to lift the brow or even lower a high hairline. Browlifts are often accompanied by upper eyelid surgery. Consult with a facial plastic surgeon to determine what procedure is right for you. Factors that may affect your candidacy for the procedure include skin type, ethnic background, skin elasticity, age and healing rate. In the primary consultation, discuss your medical history and your expectations with the surgeon, who will take a good look at your face and forehead. From there, the surgeon will take photos, and the decision to proceed with a browlift will be made jointly.

A browlift usually takes between one and two hours to perform, under light sedation or anesthesia. After the surgery, you may expect a certain amount of swelling and bruising on your forehead. This may include areas of your cheek and eye. Keep your head elevated, and you may find that cold compresses may further reduce swelling. The sutures will be removed seven to 10 days after surgery. Any bandages used will be removed after two or three days. Your recovery won’t be more than two weeks, but you should avoid strenuous activity for a little longer. Makeup can cover up any lasting bruises.

As with other forms of plastic surgery, a browlift may improve your self-confidence, but insurance will probably still not cover it unless you need the surgery for reasons other than cosmetic ones.

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