What you need to know about a brow lift procedure

What is a brow lift?

Brow lift is also known as a forehead lift or browplasty. While procedures like dermal fillers and Botox offer excellent methods of targeting forehead wrinkles before they become pervasive and deeply etched in the skin, their effectiveness is limited if the skin is already loose or very creased.

A brow lifts is an invasive surgical procedure to dramatically rejuvenate the face above the eyes to restore a more refreshed appearance. A surgeon will tighten the skin by removing excess sagging skin on the forehead and repositioning the underlying muscles and tissues, particularly the sagging skin that sits heavily across the brow ridge. A brow lift can consequently correct a heavy, sagging brow, eliminate deep furrows, and restore a smoother, more youthful contour to your eyebrows, forehead skin and upper eyelids.

Who is it for?

A sagging or low eyebrow position, because of excess skin and fatty tissue, can create a sad, tired, grumpy appearance. This procedure can correct this. But also reduce deep horizontal creases across the forehead, as well as frown lines or furrows between the eyebrows or across the top of your nose. The end result can makes you look happier, friendlier and more approachable. Females can also benefit with this cosmetic procedure in that those that previously struggled to apply make up on the upper eyelid since the surface area was obscured by drooping skin can then do it again.


What is the procedure?

There are different methods, namely the open techniques with the incision across the scalp, the endoscopic forehead lift, with 3 1,5 cm incisions along the top of the scalp, and the limited incision technique where the incisions are made in the temples. There is also a newer procedure, that of a subcutaneous lateral brow lift or ‘Z-lift’. This is an improvement on the endoscopic method by repositioning the middle eyebrow to a more natural position. In the Z lift, a Z-shaped incision is made at the temporal region of the forehead.

The type of brow lift you undergo will be based on your facial features and aesthetic preferences.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia plus sedation or combined with a face lift operation under sedation or general anesthesia. During the procedure the muscles responsible for the over active frown expression are weakened and the brow is lifted to maintain a natural aesthetic appearance and avoiding a surprised look. The patient stays in hospital overnight and stitches are removed between 8-10 days after the operation. The total recovery period is normally 10 days.

What are the risks?

Some of the would-be snags of this sort of surgery are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • An accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal
  • Infection
  • As the incursions heal, they might become itchy. If they are scratched it might lead to scaring and an infection
  • Swelling and bleeding. There will be a level of swelling and bruising of the forehead after the operation. For some swelling and bruising can also be on the cheek and eye area. Swelling can be minimized by keeping the head elevated and using cold compresses. If there is a bruising after two weeks, then makeup can be used to camouflage it.
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring. The nature of the operation means that there will be scars. But the techniques used will indicate where they will be located. Normally they will be in concealed areas, such as the hairline, or in a deep forehead crease.
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
  • Numbness around the incision site is very common as nerves may be bruised or stretched during surgery. Numbness may persist for several months with tingly or odd sensations likely to occur as function returns. It may take up to a year before the nerves return to normal.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your brow-lift surgery.

Following your surgeon’s instructions is the key to a successful recovery and the best possible results. If you experience any unusual symptoms or have any concerns, be sure to call your surgeon or a staff member at the clinic.


These can occur if you do not make use of a professional surgeon. The outcome needs to be discussed with them, as different techniques will result in different outcomes. You may also need eyelid surgery, as a forehead lift does not improve baggy eyelids or crow’s feet.