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.