Brow Lift Surgery
What is a brow lift?
Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift can elevate drooping eyebrows and smooth deep forehead creases and lines between the eyebrows. A brow lift can be performed simultaneously with eyelid surgery to minimize sagging skin near the eyes or a facelift that can rejuvenate the lower portion of the face.
Topics covered on this page
- Cost of brow lift surgery
- Is the cost covered by insurance?
- Are you a candidate?
- Benefits of brow lifts
- What to know beforehand
- Types of brow lifts
- Recovery time
- When to expect results
- How long will results last?
- Alternatives to brow lift
- Choosing a surgeon
The average cost of brow lift surgery is $3,900 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), however this only includes the surgeon’s fee. There are several other factors that can affect the cost of your procedure. Here are some of the top factors that influence cost.
- Surgeon’s Fee: The experience and reputation of the surgeon performing your procedure can affect the cost. Highly skilled and well-known brow lift surgeons may charge a premium for their services.
- Anesthesia: The administration of anesthesia involves the expertise of an anesthesiologist. The type of anesthesia used, the duration of the procedure, and the qualifications of the anesthesia provider influence the anesthesia fees.
- Surgical Facility: The surgical facility where your brow lift is being performed may impact the cost. These fees cover the usage of the operating room and other associated services. To ensure a safe experience, check to see if your surgical facility is certified by the Accreditation Associations for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
- Location: The cost of living and the average pricing for medical services in a particular area can affect the cost of your procedure. In general, urban areas tend to have higher procedure fees. If you want a general idea of the prices for medical procedures in your local area, you can use the Healthcare Blue Book, which functions similarly to Kelley Blue Book for estimating car prices.
- Extent of the Procedure: The surgical technique, complexity and duration of the brow lift procedure can all impact the overall cost.
- Medical Care: This includes preoperative consultations, medical tests, surgical garments, medications, and follow-up appointments.
- Additional Procedures: Your cost may be higher if you’re considering having other procedures along with your brow lift such as eyelid surgery or laser skin resurfacing.
- Insurance: In certain cases, your brow lift may be covered by insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. In these instances, insurance may cover a portion of the procedure. However, insurance coverage can vary and specific criteria must be met to qualify for coverage.
Taking these additional factors into consideration, the total cost of brow lift surgery can range from $6,000 to $15,000.
If you are considering brow lift surgery, setup a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon near you. This will allow you to discuss your aesthetic goals and gain a better understanding of the specific costs involved.
Brow lift surgery is typically seen as a cosmetic procedure, and insurance plans usually don’t cover cosmetic surgeries. Insurance tends to step in when a surgery is medically necessary, either to address health concerns or to relieve symptoms.
That said, there might be some exceptions. If your brow lift surgery is medically necessary due to specific health conditions or functional issues (like vision problems caused by drooping brows), there’s a chance that a portion of the procedure could be covered by insurance.
To find out if your insurance will cover any part of a brow lift surgery, it’s important to directly reach out to your insurance provider. Discuss the specific circumstances and reasons for the surgery with them.
Most patients who choose a brow lift are seeking to reverse signs of aging such as visible forehead lines and sagging eyebrows. Overactive muscles and heredity can also play a role in the appearance of the forehead. These conditions may make you look fatigued or angry. In this case, you may benefit from a brow lift. A good candidate for brow lift surgery is typically:
- In good overall health
- Between 35 and 60 years old, although adults of any age are possible candidates
- Has some skin elasticity, which helps the body adapt to its new contours
- Realistic about what to expect
You may not be a candidate if you:
- Suffer from medical conditions making you unfit for surgery
- Have unrealistic expectations
- Are mentally unstable
Brow lifts are not an appropriate treatment for crow’s feet or bags under the eyes as brow lifts focus on the brow line and the facial skin above this line.
As we age, sagging skin can make us look angry or worn-out. A brow lift is a safe and effective way to restore a youthful and rested appearance by removing sagging skin and minimizing wrinkles and furrows that appear on the forehead as we age. There an many benefits of brow lift procedures including:
- Raises the eyebrows to a higher position, making you appear more youthful
- Re positions and tightens the skin that sits over the brow
- Elevates drooping upper eyelids
- Smooths out the creases between your eyebrows
- Tightens the forehead skin, eliminating deep wrinkles and frown lines
- Alleviates tension in the forehead muscles
- Results last up to 10 years or more after only one treatment
It is important to be realistic about what a brow lift will change and what it won’t. During your initial consultation with your surgeon, discuss your goals and desired outcomes and ask whether a brow lift will provide the results you want.
In some cases, your surgeon may suggest alternative or additional surgeries that will allow you to achieve your desired outcome. Brow lifts are restorative; they will not significantly alter your facial features or structure.
Things to keep in mind when you are considering a face lift:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the initial consultation
- Final results may not be apparent for several months after the surgery
- Results of a brow lift are long-lasting but are not permanent
- Numbness around the incision sites could be a long-term side effect
- Hair loss may occur around the incision sites
There are several variations of brow lift procedures that vary depending on the location and pattern of the incision. Broadly speaking, brow lifts can be categorized into two general categories, open and endoscopic.
- Open brow lift: Also known as a full coronal brow lift, this method can provide the most substantial change in the appearance of the forehead. The surgeon makes an incision behind the hairline, from one ear to the other. This technique carries the most risk for noticeable scarring, particularly in patients who have hair loss. Consequently, open brow lifts are performed less frequently than the less invasive endoscopic brow lifts, but for people who desire substantial changes in forehead appearance an open brow lift may be the best option.
- Endoscopic brow lift: The technique is performed through a small tube with a camera that allows the surgeon to use a smaller incision line. Typically, the incision is located either within the wrinkles of the forehead or behind the hairline. This method is usually chosen when there is not a lot of excess skin to remove, as this is more difficult to accomplish with the smaller incisions. Endoscopic brow lifts are one of the more popular techniques used today because they are associated with a shorter recovery period, less post-surgery discomfort, and less visible scarring than traditional open brow lifts. Endoscopic brow lift variations include permanent sutures that are used to suspend the muscles and tissues in a higher position of the brow.
Surgical techniques can be tailored to address specific concerns, including lifting sagging brows or correcting folds and wrinkles on the forehead. The best technique will depend on each patient’s characteristics and desired result.
The type of brow lift procedure you undergo will play some role in the recovery, as well as 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 brow lift.
After brow lift surgery, patients may experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort. These effects are temporary and can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the surgeon. Most patients can resume regular activities within 10 to 14 days, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for a few weeks.
Initial results of your brow lift will be apparent immediately, but it will take several months before the final results are apparent. Bruising and most of the swelling will subside in the first week or two after the surgery, but it may take up to 4-6 months for all swelling to resolve.
Brow lifts provide long-lasting results but, as with all cosmetic surgeries, they are not permanent. The development of wrinkles and sagging skin is an unfortunate consequence of the aging process, and while a brow lift is an effective way to minimize signs of aging, it will not prevent the development of subsequent signs of aging. Some clients elect to have additional brow lift surgeries within a decade of their initial surgery.
In some cases, a brow lift may not be the most appropriate surgical option. For example, sagging skin around the eyes and crow’s feet may be better addressed with eyelid surgery. Brow lifts are often performed in conjunction with an upper eyelid surgery or a face lift. Surgical alternatives include:
- Facelift: A facelift tightens loose skin and the underlying muscles of the face
- Eyelid surgery: Known as blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery can address sagging skin and wrinkles in the upper and/or lower eyelid area and minimize undereye bags
There are non-surgical alternatives to brow lift surgery, but these options are frequently most appropriate for younger people or those who do not have substantial wrinkles or sagging skin. Non-surgical options can be combined to achieve specific goals. Non-surgical alternatives include:
- Botox: Botox and similar products temporarily paralyze muscles in your forehead, which releases fine lines, prevents the skin from creasing and wrinkling, and raises the ends of the eyebrows. Botox needs to be repeated every 3-4 months.
- Fillers: Injectable fillers add volume to deflated areas of the brow and temple area, which minimizes the appearance of wrinkles. Options include hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm), lipofilling, and substances that stimulate collagen production (Sculptra). Fillers can last from several months to a few years.
- Skin tighteners: Non-invasive skin tighteners include ultrasound (Ultherapy), radiofrequency (Thermage), and pulsed (fractional) or continuous CO2 laser resurfacing technology, which stimulate collagen production.
To attain the desired results, it is important to carefully select your brow lift surgeon. The surgeon you choose, along with their recommended surgical approach can significantly influence your results. Find a plastic surgeon with substantial experience in performing brow lift procedures. Ensure that your surgeon is board-certified and holds membership in one or more of the following organizations:
- The American Board of Plastic Surgery
- American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- The Aesthetic Society
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*Medical Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. Read more.
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Brow Lift Guide. Available from: https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/face/brow-lift-guide/
- Bater KL, Ishii LE, Papel ID, et al. Association Between Facial Rejuvenation and Observer Ratings of Youth, Attractiveness, Success, and Health. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(5):360–367. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/2622092
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- Raggio BS, Winters R. Endoscopic Brow Lift. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545220/
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