Are you sick and tired of looking sick and tired? You know what we mean. As we age they start appearing; the brow wrinkles. Even daily moisturizing and staying out of the sun may deter them, but they are inevitable.
Of course, there’s Botox injections, but those are only temporary and they freeze your face. You may be a candidate for a brow lift.
WHAT IS A BROW LIFT?
A brow lift is a surgical procedure that reduces wrinkles that appear horizontally across your forehead. They also correct wrinkles on the bridge of the nose and in between the eyes. It also raises sagging brows that can causes “hooded” eyes and improves frown lines.
There are two types of brow lifts. The “Classic” lift and the “Endoscopic” lift. The classic lift is an incision beginning at the level of your ears and traveling up around your hair line. The surgeon will work with your hairline, no matter it’s location, to avoid a visible scar.
An endoscopic lift is where a surgeon makes several small cuts in your scalp. They will then insert a scope (a tiny camera on the end of a tube). They then use a device in another cut to make the necessary changes to your forehead. The surgeon makes use of small skin anchors to tighten and secure the tissue. Because of the smaller cuts this procedure is less invasive, has minimal scarring, and has less recovery time.
During your consultation with the doctor it’s important to discuss your goals, your current health, and your medical history. Your surgeon will examine all of the areas that will be affected by the lift and even may have you make some faces and expressions so they can evaluate how best to help you.
Be absolutely sure you ask your doctor about all charges and payment plans involved, including followup care. Usually, most insurances won’t pay for cosmetic procedures. There would have to be a legitimate medical reason for your brow lift in order for insurance to pay. If you are unsure, ask your doctor AND your insurance company. That way you will be clear on what your payment responsibility is.
PREPARING FOR YOUR BROW LIFT
You may have to make some lifestyle changes before you go in for your procedure. As an example, if you smoke your doctor may ask you to quit temporarily. They may as you to not drink alcohol for a short period as well as stop taking certain medications. Anti- inflammatory drugs like aspirin or blood thinners will need to be suspended as they can cause increased bleeding.
If you have long hair it could get in the way so you may need to trim it. On the other hand, if you have short hair you may need to grow it out a bit to cover any scars. This will be discussed with you by your doctor.
At home you will need ice. Lots of ice. Ice bags to hold the ice. You will need pillows to prop yourself up as you need to keep your head elevated for a while. You will also need ointment for the incision areas. Your doctor will either recommend an OTC one or prescribe one for you.
THE DAY OF YOUR BROW LIFT
Your brow lift will be done in the doctor’s office, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. The whole procedure usually only takes about two hours or less and no overnight stay is needed. You will have to have a person with you to drive you home.
The doctor may use local anesthesia, however if you prefer to be put to sleep then general anesthesia will be administered. The doctor will perform the surgery, stitch or staple you up and clean the affected areas. Make absolutely sure you follow the doctors instructions on after care cleaning and bandage changing.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR BROW LIFT
Recovery times depend on which procedure you had done (classic or endoscopic). Your mileage may vary. You will have stitches, staples, or small screws in your head that will need a followup visit to be removed and that will be determined by the doctor, usually one to two weeks. You will have swelling and bruising, even in places where you didn’t have surgery. That’s what the ice packs are for. You will need to keep your head elevated for at least two days after the surgery (remember the pillows)?
If you got the classic procedure it will be more painful and healing times may take longer. You may get a prescription pain killer. You may also itch during the healing process. If you got the endoscopic procedure you may also get a prescription pain killer. Itching may also occur, but not as much as the classic operation. Most people return to work or school within ten days.
WHAT’S THE COST?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has determined that as of 2016 the average cost of a brow lift is $3,403. Keep in mind that fees can vary from surgeon to surgeon. The afore mentioned fees do not include operating room facilities, anesthesia, or other expenses. A surgeon’s fee will be based upon their experience, which procedure you receive.
The best news is your results will be immediate after the swelling goes down. Over time your incision lines will fade. Your satisfaction with the procedure will increase as time goes on and the incision lines heal. Keep in mind that results are not guaranteed, but are likely. Life long sun protection, using quality moisturizers, and a generally healthy lifestyle.