The goal of facial expressions is to communicate how we truly feel, not to misconstrue our true feelings. However, age, genetics, and repetitive facial expressions can alter your appearance and leave you with loose, saggy skin above the eye area. Forehead sagging and brow ptosis can make you look tired, sad, or even angry. A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, improves the area above the eyes by lifting it and reducing wrinkles. This gives patients an alert and youthful look.
A brow lift is most commonly performed to eliminate deep wrinkles that form across your forehead known as worry lines. This procedure is also effective for the angry 11s (those wrinkles that form between your eyes). Similar to lifting weights at the gym, overworking the muscles between the eyes makes them hypertrophy and cause the wrinkles. Brow sagging doesn’t just affect your overall appearance; in severe cases, it can actually impair your vision. People’s eyebrow tissue naturally begins to droop with age, and if this tissue falls well below the brow bone it can cause visual impairment. A brow lift raises this tissue, lifting the skin that is covering the eye area and giving your vision a boost. The procedure also tightens the skin along the forehead reducing the appearance of vertical creases along the forehead and between the eyebrows.
Severe brow drooping may sometimes be covered by insurance. An in-office test called a visual field can be performed to demonstrate the degree of visual blockage. A series of photographs are taken to document how the droopy brow is covering the eyes and pupils. If an argument can be made that the brow sagging is impairing your vision, insurance may assist in financing your brow lift.
Upper eyelid surgery usually complements a brow lift to achieve even better vision results. Upper eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, removes excess skin and fat from the eyelids that may be weighing your eyes down. Board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Vivian Schiedler is highly trained in eyes and brows surgery, and she can customize your treatment to help you achieve your goals.
"My experience at Oasis Eye was great! From the decor to the staff, I knew that my needs would be taken care of in the most professional caring matter. Dr. Schiedler, in my opinion, is an excellent ocular plastic surgeon; and I recommend her services."
"I have been getting Botox/Xeomin injections for 15 years. I just recently moved here from San Francisco and she by far is the best that I have ever been too. She is extremely knowledgeable in her field. I am getting BBL and Halo Laser next week, I can’t wait! I am very fortunate to have found her."
"Dr. Schiedler did a lower eye retraction repair with a hard pallet graft which turned out amazing. So happy I got the surgery and it was virtually painless. Dr. Schiedler is very kind and caring and she takes the time to make sure you get the very best care."
"The success of my surgery with Dr. Schiedler was far in excess of my initial expectations. As far as I am concerned, Dr. Schiedler worked "miracles" with my sight and appearance. She completely corrected a congenital situation in one eye, and brought my other eye back to the way it looked 30 years earlier."
"Thank you for providing me such excellent care through each stage of my procedure. I am very pleased with the results and ever so appreciative of the attention and care all of you have provided. I have truly enjoyed each of you!"
"My experience was great! I needed a biopsy on my lower eyelid. Dr. Schiedler explained the entire process. The process was just how she explained to me and was in no way painful during or after the procedure."
"My experience with Dr. Schiedler and her staff was above and beyond amazing. Everyone was very professional, personal, and concerned about me throughout my whole treatment from start to finish. I would definitely recommend her to anyone needing the services Oasis Eye provides."
"Dr. Schiedler and staff were all wonderful. Everyone treated me with such respect, dignity and kindness. My post-op and pre-op questions were all answered with clarity. My wait time was minimal and my overall experience was excellent."
Forehead sagging and brow ptosis can be repaired in a number of ways, depending on skin quality, hairline, and personal preference. Every procedure is customized to fit the patient’s needs and aesthetic goals with the two most common surgical types being endoscopic brow lifts and hairline brow lifts.
Endoscopic brow lifts are good for patients with short foreheads and thick hair. This procedure uses incisions that are short and hidden behind the hairline. Using long instruments, all the soft tissues across the forehead are released. This allows the brows to lift to a natural and pleasing shape. In women, a soft arch in the brow is feminine. In men, a flatter brow is masculine. Endoscopic brow lifts are done in a surgery center under moderate sedation.
Hairline brow lifts are good for patients with long foreheads. A long irregular and angled incision is made just behind the hairline to allow the hair to grow back and hide the incision. The forehead skin is lifted off the muscle, which reduces a lot of the horizontal forehead wrinkles and helps smooth out worry lines. Trimming of any extra forehead skin takes place at the hairline. This approach has the advantage of being very long-lasting and has excellent control of the lift and shape of each brow. Hairline brow lifts are also done in a surgery center under moderate sedation.
Dr. Schiedler can also camouflage the incisions in a deep wrinkle or just above the brow hair. These techniques are sometimes required for patients desiring a smaller procedure and faster recovery, or for bald patients. These variations of the brow lift can be done in the office using local numbing injections.
Some bruising and swelling should be expected following your brow lift. To help minimize symptoms, it is recommended that you stay home two to three days post-surgery and frequently apply soft, lightweight, cold compresses to the treatment area. It is not uncommon for your incisions to feel sensitive or even numb for one to two weeks following surgery. It may take three to six months for the fine skin nerve endings to recover fully.
You should sleep with your head elevated, either on several pillows or in a recliner chair, to help prevent additional swelling. It usually takes one to two weeks for bruising to disappear completely, although, for some patients on blood thinners, it may take longer. Strenuous physical activity and hot showers should also be avoided for the first week in order to prevent bleeding.
After a week post-surgery, your sutures or scalp staples will be removed. It is very important to avoid direct sun exposure on the incisions until all redness has faded in order to prevent darkening of the skin, or hyperpigmentation. Once your bruising and swelling subside, you will be left with a more appealing and sculpted forehead with an evenly contoured brow area.
Final results can be seen as early as three to four weeks, but in some patients, it may take three to four months. Your results will be long-lasting; however, there is no way to stop the aging process, so you should always seek proper precaution to prevent future signs of aging from developing. This includes limiting your sun exposure and always wearing adequate sunscreen for protection. Some people will benefit from Botox injections to keep the brow muscles from pulling down again and help maintain their results long term.
If droopy brows and a sagging forehead are affecting your vision, causing you to look older than you actually are, or even to look mad when you are otherwise happy, contact board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Vivian Schiedler at Oasis Eye Face and Skin and find out what a brow lift, or forehead lift, can do for you. Look happy and refreshed! Call (541) 708-6393 or contact us online today.