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Forehead / Brow Lift

Top New York plastic surgeon Dr. Darrick Antell is board certified in plastic surgery, emphasizing aesthetic / cosmetic surgery. One of the procedures he performs is the forehead lift or browlift.

A forehead lift corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows on the forehead that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. If you are considering a browlift, this section will give you a basic understanding of the procedure.

Considering a Forehead Lift

A forehead lift or "browlift" is a procedure that restores a more youthful, 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.

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. Your surgeon 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.

If you're considering a forehead lift, this information will provide a basic understanding of the procedure — when it can help, how it's performed and what results you can expect. It won't answer all of your questions because a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Be sure to ask your doctor if there is anything you don't understand about the procedure.

The best candidates for Forehead Lift Surgery

A forehead lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure.

Forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the face. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a forehead lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids. Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper-eyelid surgery find that a forehead lift better meets their surgical goals

Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper-eyelid surgery may still be good candidates for forehead lift. The surgeon will simply alter the incision location or perform a more conservative operation.

Remember, a forehead lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them in detail with your doctor.

All Plastic Surgery carries some uncertainty and risk

Complications are rare and usually minor when a forehead lift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Yet, the possibility of complications must be considered.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon's instructions both before and after surgery.

Planning your Forehead Lift Surgery

For a better understanding of how a forehead lift might change your appearance, look into a mirror and place the palms of your hands at the outer edges of your eyes, above your eyebrows. Gently draw the skin up to raise the brow and the forehead area. That is approximately what a forehead lift would do for you. If you decide to consult a plastic surgeon, he or she will first evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone.

During your consultation, the surgeon will discuss your goals for the surgery and ask you about certain medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to develop large scars. Be sure to tell the surgeon if you have had previous facial surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications — including aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.

If you decide to proceed with a forehead lift, your surgeon will explain the surgical technique, the recommended type of anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, the risks and the costs involved. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results of surgery.

Preparing for your Forehead Lift Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking and avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery and your recovery proceed more smoothly.

Whether your forehead lift is done in an outpatient facility or in the hospital, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two.

Anesthesia used for Forehead Lift Surgery

Most forehead lifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake but relaxed, and although you may feel some tugging and mild discomfort, your forehead will be insensitive to pain.

Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you'll sleep through the entire operation.

Where your Forehead Lift Surgery will be performed

A forehead lift is usually done in a surgeon's office-based facility. However, it is occasionally done in the hospital.

The Forehead Lift Surgery

Your surgeon will help you decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals: the classic or "open" method, or the endoscopic forehead lift. Make sure you understand the technique that your surgeon recommends and why he or she feels it is best for you.

In the classic forehead lift, a coronal incision will be used. It follows a headphone-like pattern, starting at about ear level and running across the top of the forehead and down the other side of the head. The incision is usually made well behind the hairline so that the scar won't be visible. Working through the incision, the skin of the forehead is carefully lifted so that the underlying tissue can be removed and the muscles of the forehead can be altered or released. The eyebrows may also be elevated and excess skin at the incision point will be trimmed away to help create a smoother, more youthful appearance. The incision is then closed with stitches or clips. Your face and hair will be washed to prevent irritation and the rubber bands will be removed from your hair. Although some plastic surgeons do not use any dressings, your doctor may choose to cover the incision with gauze padding and wrap the head in an elastic bandage.

In the endoscopic forehead lift, your surgeon will make three, four or five short scalp incisions, each less than an inch in length. An endoscope, which is a pencil-like camera device connected to a television monitor, is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the muscles and tissues beneath the skin. Using another instrument inserted through a different incision, the forehead skin is lifted and the muscles and underlying tissues are removed or altered to produce a smoother appearance. The eyebrows may also be lifted and secured into their higher position by sutures beneath the skin's surface or by temporary fixation screws placed behind the hairline.
When the lift is complete, the scalp incisions will be closed with stitches or clips and the area will be washed. Gauze and an elastic bandage may also be used, depending on your surgeon's preference.

After your Forehead Lift Surgery

The immediate post-operative experience for a patient who has had a classic forehead lift may differ significantly from a patient who had the procedure performed endoscopically.

Classic forehead lift patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication. Patients who are prone to headaches may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthesia during surgery as a preventive measure.

You may be told to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to keep the swelling down. Swelling may also affect the cheeks and eyes; however, this should begin to disappear in a week or so.

As the nerves heal, numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to fully disappear. If bandages were used, they will be removed a day or two after surgery. Most stitches or clips will be removed within two weeks, sometimes in two stages.

Endoscopic forehead lift patients may experience some numbness, incision discomfort and mild swelling. Incision site pain is usually minimal, but can be controlled with medication, if necessary. Endoscopic forehead lift patients usually experience less of the itching sensation felt by patients who have had the classic forehead lift. The stitches or staples used to close the incisions are usually removed within a week and the temporary fixation screws within two weeks.

Getting back to normal after Forehead Lift Surgery

Although you should be up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days, or as soon as the bandage is removed.

Most patients are back to work or school in a week to 10 days. Endoscopic patients may feel ready to return even sooner. Vigorous physical activity should limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.

Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within about three weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with special camouflage makeup. You may feel a bit tired at first, but your energy level will increase as you begin to look and feel better.*

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Dr. Darrick E. Antell and his staff will be happy to discuss Forehead / Brow Lift with you.  Please call for a private consultation or schedule an appointment online at our office.

Now Open for Elective Surgery! View Update Virtual Consultation

Now Open for Elective Surgery!

Dear Patients,

We hope this finds you and your family in good health during these difficult times. For those who may have suffered a loss, we extend our deepest sympathies.

As many of you know, we decided to shift our practice almost entirely to telemedicine when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Being located in the heart of New York City, we felt this was a necessary decision to help keep you and our other valued patients safe. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the last few months as we navigated the new and unique challenges that this health crisis has thrust upon us.

We are happy to announce that we have resumed seeing patients for consultations, office procedures (including Botox and fillers), follow-up appointments, and elective surgeries. Please know that, as always, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the safest possible environment. With our own NYS registered and fully accredited operating room, we are able to perform all procedures in an environment that is clean, safe, and secure. Our office is following all recommended guidance from public health authorities, both local and federal, including best practices for hygiene, infection control, and office staff health. As a result, our office might look a bit different than it has on previous visits. We are implementing numerous new protocols, including limiting the number of patients we see each day, minimizing the number of people in our waiting room, and continually and thoroughly cleaning all surfaces and exam rooms to sanitize between patients. Please know that our staff will be utilizing the appropriate PPE to protect patients and themselves.

In order to keep our office a safe space for both patients and staff members, we are asking for your cooperation with the following:

  • Every patient must complete a screening questionnaire for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms prior to your appointment. We will be discussing these questions with you when we call to confirm your appointment. If there are any concerns, we may need to change your visit to telehealth.
  • All patients must wear a mask when entering the office (cloth or homemade is fine). Upon arrival to the office, we will ask you to clean your hands with sanitizer and will provide you with gloves.
  • Anyone entering the office, including staff, will have their temperature taken with a non-contact thermometer. Therefore, upon arriving to the office, please ring the doorbell to be properly screened prior to entering.
  • Patients should come alone for their appointment if possible. If you would like to bring a spouse, caregiver, parent, or friend, we must be notified at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment to make the necessary arrangements.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

Sincerely,
Darrick E. Antell, MD, FACS

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