Ligaments that anchor the skin of the forehead stretch with the ageing process, resulting in descent of the brow. This results in a lowering of the eyebrows and the appearance of folds of skin on the upper eyelid. Patients may feel that this appearance attract unwelcome comments about tiredness or worry from acquaintances and colleagues at work, and are unhappy about the frown lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows. Ways to alleviate this distress can be addressed during a consultation to discuss rejuvenation of the upper half of the face.
What are the patient preparations for a browlift?
Patients who smoke or take blood thinning medication such as aspirin and warfarin run a high risk of complications such as bleeding or wound infections and delayed wound healing. Nicotine should not be consumed in any form for six weeks before a facelift, and medication such as aspirin or warfarin should be suspended if this is not for an essential or life-threatening condition, at the appropriate time before surgery.
What does the surgery involve?
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia and usually involves a night stay in hospital. It can be carried out endoscopically, ie with the help of a telescope through a small incision inside the hairline which heals well, and is not very visible after a few weeks or it can be carried out as an open procedure within an incision across the hairline in a hidden part of the scalp. The incisions are sutured and quite often a head bandage which resembles a turban is applied for the first couple of days after surgery. Patients are discharged home the following day, and are able to wash and shampoo their hair as normal. Sutures are removed a week after surgery.
What is the normal postoperative course?
Most patients experience significant bruising and swelling of the forehead and may have a black eye, which normally resolves in about a week. The eyebrows may appear excessively elevated for a few days after surgery but they descend to a more natural position within a period of a couple of weeks.
How much time do I need off work?
Most patients are able to return to work a couple of weeks after the procedure.
What are the potential complications for this procedure?
Like any other surgical procedure, brow lift has complications such as bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), infection, visible scars and asymmetry. There can be a small amount of hair loss on either side of the scar but this hair normally grows back after six to 12 months. The scars can be visible, especially in men, as the hair line recedes. Very rarely the nerve that supplies the forehead muscle which lifts the eyebrow may be stretched or damaged in this procedure, and this may result in an inability to raise the eyebrows.