A brow lift, also commonly referred to as a forehead lift, is a surgical procedure performed to improve the appearance of the browline and forehead. A brow lift can elevate droopy brows and smooth deep forehead creases or lines between the eyebrows.
What to expect after surgery
The type of brow lift procedure you undergo will play a role in the recovery process and the symptoms you can expect. In general, an endoscopic technique is associated with a faster brow lift recovery time and fewer symptoms than an open or classic brow lift. On the other hand, the open brow lift allows the surgeon to more dramatically alter your appearance, so there is a trade-off.
After undergoing a brow lift surgery, patients must keep their head elevated for several days. This requires sleeping with several pillows behind you, which is essential for a faster brow lift recovery time and minimized swelling. In addition to swelling, other side effects commonly experienced by patients include tenderness, bruising, redness, itching, tingling, or numbness. Any discomfort can be managed with pain medication. The bruising may spread to your cheeks or eyes, sometimes giving patients the appearance of “black eyes.” These symptoms usually subside within a week of surgery.
If your surgical incisions required sutures, they will be removed a week or two following your procedure. Although sutures are required for most open brow lift patients, they may not be needed for some endoscopic procedures. Most patients also have surgical gauze, tape, or bandages that must be worn over the forehead and brows for the first few days. The surgeon may also need to place a drain or small tube in the surgical site to drain any excess fluid. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding post-operative care, including changing bandages, applying ointment, or any other necessary tasks.
Tips to reduce swelling after surgery
Many brow lift recovery patients find that swelling obscures the full results of their surgery for several weeks. While swelling is normal after any surgical procedure, there are ways to reduce swelling so that your recovery period is shorter and you can see the results of your brow lift sooner. Here are a few tips to reduce swelling after a brow lift:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Maintain a healthy diet that is low in sodium.
- Get plenty of rest and avoid trying to resume your daily activities too quickly.
- Keep your head elevated, especially while sleeping.
- Avoid taking medications that may prolong swelling. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking.
Post-surgery garments for brow lift patients come in several forms. After surgery, your forehead may be wrapped in gauze or bandages, or it may be taped to hold the tissues in place. Some patients wear an elastic compression garment, similar to a headband, over the treated area. Such a surgical garment can help control swelling and allows the tissues of the forehead time to adapt to their new contours. Held firmly against your forehead, the loose skin can heal without sagging.
Brow lift healing time
Most patients return to work and their normal activity level about a week after brow lift surgery. Many endoscopic brow lift patients return even sooner. It is important to return to your daily activities gradually. Although you will be able to move normally, including showering and other daily activities, within a week of the surgery, rigorous activity should be avoided for several weeks. This includes exercise as well as any activity that is likely to increase your blood pressure.
Most of the side effects of a brow lift should disappear within a few weeks. Many patients comment that they did not realize how much their sagging brow or deep forehead creases were contributing to an angry or worn-out facial expression until seeing their new and refreshed appearance.