Introduction to Brow Lift

At Sundine Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, brow lift, or forehead lift, is a procedure that restores a more youthful, and refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad, or tired.

Brow lift procedure

What is a Brow Lift?

In a forehead lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. Dr. Micahel J. Sundine may use the conventional surgical method, in which the incision is hidden just behind the hairline; or it may be performed with the use of an endoscope, a viewing instrument that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions. Both techniques yield similar results — smoother forehead skin and a more animated appearance. Brow lift surgery is sometimes performed in conjunction with our Orange County eyelid Surgery for a refreshed look.

Patient Review

“I wish there were more than 5 stars because Dr. Sundine deserves thousands of stars.
Ok, where do I start, first and foremost I want to say that I had a facelift, neck lift, and brow lift by Dr. Sundine and I have to say that this guy is a total genius. I’m beyond happy, and I do believe in praying to God every day to help me find a good doctor, and indeed my prayers were answered. I’m feeling great and every time I’m looking in the mirror I feel like I found my young face again that I used to look OMG.”
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Who is a Good Candidate for a Brow Lift?

Patients who are candidates for a brow lift in Newport Beach (or forehead lift) present with several different complaints. Many of them will present saying “My friends tell me I look tired and sad and they ask me if something is wrong.” They may also say “People ask me what I am angry about because I look annoyed all of the time even when I am in a good mood.” Patients will have heaviness in their upper eyelids and may think they need their eyelids treated. When the outer brow is lower than the inner brow it conveys a sad appearance to the face and when the inner eyebrow is depressed relative to the outer brow it communicates an angry or annoyed appearance. Other patients who are candidates for a brow lift may have deep wrinkles across their forehead or in the area between their eyebrows.

Preparing for Your Brow Lift

Your Newport Beach Brow Lift will be performed by Dr. Michael J Sundine at a surgery center in Orange County. During your initial consultation, Dr. Sundine will evaluate your current health, go over your medical history, and ask about what your goals are for your brow lift procedure. He can also answer any questions you may have about the surgery.

Our Brow Lift Video

Before and After Photos

Brow Lift Before and After Results in Newport Beach by Dr. Sundine
Brow Lift Before and After Results in Newport Beach by Dr. Sundine

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Where are Incisions Placed for the Brow Lift?

There are several different sites where incisions can be placed for a brow lift procedure. Determining the site for the incision is based on several factors. Especially important is the level of the current hairline and the amount of elevation required with the brow lift. The potential incision sites include the direct brow lift, indirect brow lift, midforehead lift, endoscopic brow lift, and the open brow lift.

  • The direct brow lift is essentially reserved for bald males where the patient does not have a hairline to hide the incision. The incision for the direct brow lift is just above the eyebrow and is very effective in lifting the eyebrow. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia alone and may be applicable to patients who need their brows elevated to improve their vision but who may be too sick to undergo a more extensive procedure.
  • The indirect brow lift is essentially the same as a direct brow lift except that the incision is placed such that a scar is placed directly into a forehead crease above the eyebrow.
  • In the midforehead lift, the incision is placed such that the scar is placed to line up into a crease in the middle of the forehead. We try to avoid the direct, indirect, and midforehead lifts except in very limited circumstances because of the possibility of visible scarring.
  • In the endoscopic brow lift, there are typically three incisions made just behind the hairline in the forehead and a slightly larger incision made in the temple area. Using these incisions the forehead tissues are freed up over the top of the bone. The tissues are then repositioned upward and are held in position using a variety of fixation methods.
  • In the open brow lift, the incision may be placed in several locations based on the amount of elevation required and the hairline. The incision is hidden within the hair or at the hairline. The scalp and forehead are then elevated and repositioned upward. The extra scalp is then trimmed and the scalp is sutured upward.

Brow Lift Recovery

There will be some swelling and bruising, but these issues will be mild and should subside over the coming days. The recovery process should not be painful, and over-the-counter medication should be enough to provide you with relief. Dr. Sundine will provide you with post-operative instructions to help make your recovery as easy as possible.

How Much Does a Brow Lift Cost in Newport Beach?

The cost of your brow lift in Newport Beach will be based on the techniques used and the amount of work needed to provide you with your ideal results. During your consultation, Dr. Sundine can let you know what the cost of your forehead lift will be. Financing options are available to help ease the payment for our patients.

Non-Surgical Brow Lift Alternatives

The only effective alternative to a brow lift is BOTOX. The use of botulinum toxin (BOTOX) can paralyze the muscles that lower the inner and outer aspects of the brow. The muscle that raises the brow can then work unopposed. However, the effective lift from Botox is mild. Patients with brow ptosis (sagging of the brow) will find that the heaviness of the brow may become worse if botulinum toxin is used for their forehead wrinkles because the muscle that keeps the brow elevated has been paralyzed. The issue with Botox is that the injections need to be repeated approximately every 3 months.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you want to rejuvenate the appearance of your brow and would like to know if a brow lift in Newport Beach is the right choice for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sundine. He is dedicated to offering the best forehead lift and brow lift results Orange County has to offer.

Brow Lift FAQs

Your Newport Beach Brow Lift Questions Answered

How to tell whether I need a brow lift or upper eyelid surgery?

With careful examination, we can decide whether the forehead needs to be treated versus the eyebrows or possibly both. With the patient seated in the upright position, we place the eyebrow position that is pleasing and natural appearing. When the eyebrow is in this natural position the skin and fat of the upper eyelids can be assessed. Frequently patients present to us thinking that they need their upper eyelids treated when, in fact, they really need their eyebrow treated. It is especially important to evaluate the eyebrow in males who present with the heaviness of their upper eyelids. If an excess amount of skin is removed in males to compensate for the sagging eyebrow it may result in a feminized appearance of the upper eyelids.

What type of anesthesia is used for a brow lift?

Dr. Sundine typically uses general anesthesia for his brow lift procedures. In some cases, the procedure may be performed under local anesthesia with sedation.

How long does it take to perform a brow lift?

Typically it takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to perform the procedure.

Do I need to go to the hospital for the procedure?

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in a fully accredited outpatient surgical center. The center is staffed only with board-certified anesthesiologists.

Will I have scars from the brow lift?

As with all surgical procedures, there is some scarring from a brow lift procedure. However, the area of the incisions is all designed such that the scars will be hidden within or at the hairline.

What are the potential risks or complications associated with having a brow lift performed?

As with all surgical procedures, there are potential risks associated with the surgery. Some of these risks include bleeding, scarring, hair loss near the incisions, nerve injury, numbness, asymmetry, need for additional surgery, and anesthetic reactions. Overall, the risks of a significant complication are quite small.

What happens after the brow lift is performed?

The brow lift is an outpatient procedure. Typically most patients go home with a family member or friend. Recovery at an aftercare facility can be arranged if needed. Virtually all patients have a drain placed that is removed the next day. Patients are asked to use ice and keep their heads elevated to reduce the amount of swelling for the first 5 days. Patients may shower and wash their hair on the first postoperative day after the drain has been removed. The sutures are removed on postoperative day 10.

How much bruising, swelling, and pain are there?

Generally, there is not a lot of bruising or swelling in the forehead but this does tend to settle into the upper eyelids. The swelling peaks on the second postoperative day and goes down from there. There is mild discomfort associated with the procedure that is well managed with oral pain medications.

Could I need to have another brow lift in the future?

Unfortunately, aging and gravity are never-ending and it is possible that a patient may require another brow in the future. Interestingly, according to the plastic surgery literature, the recurrence of brow ptosis (sagging of the eyebrows) is higher with an endoscopic brow lift as compared to the open procedure.

When can I resume exercise following the brow lift?

On the evening after the procedure, you should have minimal activity and rest with your head elevated and ice for swelling. You may do some light walks and go up and down stairs starting on postoperative day 1. You should be able to return to full activity starting at three weeks postoperatively.

When can I return to work after my brow lift?

You could potentially return to work at about 10 days postoperatively but you should really plan on taking a couple of weeks off.

Will insurance cover the costs of my brow lift?

Typically insurance does not cover the costs of a brow lift performed for cosmetic reasons.

Post-Operative Instructions

  • After surgery, keep your head elevated on a wedge pillow. While awake in bed flex your feet and legs 4-6 times every hour. When getting out of bed to go to the bathroom, do so only with assistance, especially if your eyes are swollen.
  • Apply surgical pads or ice bags (crushed ice is best) over the forehead and eyelids as much as possible during the first 72 hours after surgery, as this will reduce the amount of swelling you will have. DO NOT SMOKE! Smoking can cause poor wound healing and may result in bad scarring.
  • For the first 72 hours please avoid any type of straining. However, it is good to get out of bed and sit in a chair after surgery. You may go for a light walk and may go up and downstairs following the procedure.
  • If you have discomfort or anxiety, take the medication prescribed as directed. It is best to take the pain medication with crackers, Jell-O, etc. Do not take pain medication if you have no pain. Do not drink alcohol while taking the pain and/or anxiety medication.
  • A light diet is best for the day of surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to soups or Jello. You can start with a soft, regular diet the next day.
  • You can expect swelling of the face and eyes after surgery. If the swelling on one side is definitely more pronounced than on the other side or if you are having pain that is NOT relieved by the pain medication, contact us immediately.
  • If your eyes feel dry, use a tear substitute as you need it to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. (Refresh Plus is excellent; you can buy it over the counter and you can use it every 30 minutes if needed)
  • You will have a single drain in place that will run vertically down the center of your forehead. The drain is almost always removed on the first day after the surgery.
  • After the drain has been removed you may wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Lather your hair gently using the palms of your hands and rinse thoroughly until the soap is out. You will not be able to remove all of the crusts until the sutures are all removed.
  • The scalp sutures will be removed around 10 days following the operation.
  • Exercise and strenuous activities should be avoided for 3 weeks; keep your heart rate below 100 beats per minute during that time and do not lift more than 10 pounds. Slowly increase your activities after 2 weeks so that full activities can be resumed at 3 weeks.

General Instructions

  • Tearing and swelling of your eyes will often occur after brow surgery. This will cease as the swelling subsides.
  • You may have a dull-type headache for several days after surgery. This is normal. Tightness of the eyelids is a normal feeling after the surgery. This may make it hard to close the eyelids completely. This will relax with time.
  • Contacts may be worn when the eyes start feeling normal and the majority of the swelling has subsided. This is usually around 4-5 days.
  • Your forehead will feel tight and there will be a feeling of numbness for several months after the surgery. This will gradually disappear and the feeling will return in about 6 months.
  • All incisions will be extremely sensitive during the healing phase. Direct sun contact is to be avoided and use a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB protection for at least 6 months.
  • Please take all medications carefully and as directed.
  • If you have nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath, or diarrhea after taking your medications please call the office.
  • If you develop a fever (oral temperature greater than 101°), redness, or increased pain or swelling at the surgical incisions, please call the office immediately.
  • Occasionally, you may have some temporary hair loss in the area of the incision. A majority of the time this is temporary and due to the trauma of surgery to the hair follicles-it will resolve in 4-6 months.

Professional Memberships:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American College of Surgeons-Fellow
American Academy of Pediatrics-Fellow
International Society of Craniofacial Surgeons
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Cleft Palate- Craniofacial Association
American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons
California Society of Plastic Surgeons
Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Association of Plastic Surgery

Patient Reviews & Testimonials


    I gave Dr. Sundine the highest possible review in each category because he truly deserved the highest reviews on every level. I am a very well recognized lawyer on the West Coast. My firm has spent millions of dollars on television advertising in which I appear. I could not afford to have a bad face lift or even for people to notice I had a face lift at all. I interviewed many physicians including some of the “celebrity” physicians. Ultimately, I chose Dr. Sundine because he performs highly complex complete facial reconstruction procedures on children. I figured if he was so skilled that he could perform such incredibly difficult procedures on a child, I was confident he could perform a face lift with which I would be happy. The results were so far beyond my expectations that I could hardly believe. I look literally ten years younger. I am incredibly happy with the results and they seem to get better and better as the healing continues. I never had a problem getting a return call or making an appointment. Dr. Sundine is always pleasant and answers all of my questions. I would recommend him to anyone!!!

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  • "I Am Very Satisfied With The Results"

    What I really like about Dr Sundine is his vast experience and training. I also like the fact he did not try to sell me other procedures. He is also very down to earth and easy to talk to. I am very satisfied with the results and I highly recommend him.

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  • "Thanks, Dr. Sundine!"

    After much research and multiple visits to other surgeons, I knew right away that Dr. Sundine was the perfect choice for me. He is gentle and kind and genuinely listens to you. I felt completely confident in his ability from the first visit to the last. Even the day of the procedure, he spent ample time talking to me, taking measurements, and making marks on my body so as to get the perfect results. I have been singing his praises to all of my friends and will recommend him to anyone searching for a plastic surgeon. Thanks, Dr. Sundine!

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  • "Excellent Plastic Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is an excellent plastic surgeon! I have been using his services for almost 5 years. The office setting is state of the art and his office manager Toni makes sure that everything runs efficiently. They really listen to your needs before and after surgery to make certain that you walk out fully satisfied. If you want to look years younger and fully refreshed I highly recommend that you use his services. This is not your typical Newport Beach plastic surgeon’s office. Patients walk out looking naturally gorgeous, not overdone like some of the women in Orange County! The office offers a full range of injectables, peels, and lasers in addition to major cosmetic surgery procedures. Whether you need a little tweak or surgery this is the physician that you should see!
    - Susan

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  • "You are the Best Surgeon!"

    Dr. Sundine is the best plastic surgeon. Dr. Sundine’s excellent skills and knowledge has made my surgery turn out so well. But more importantly, it made me feel better about myself. Again, thank you Dr. Sundine for all you have done for me. You are the best surgeon!
    - Thy D.

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