As we age, our facial tissues begin to sag and droop. This is a process that happens gradually, and many people don’t notice it has begun until they start getting comments from others that they look tired or irritated when they happen to be feeling fine. One of the first areas to show signs of aging, such as sagging skin and wrinkles, is the forehead. The forehead and eye regions are high-movement areas of the face that tend to start showing signs of age early, sometimes as early as the late 20s and early 30s. A sagging and drooping forehead can change the resting facial expression, causing a constant appearance of exhaustion. Dr. Edward Buckingham offers minimally invasive forehead and brow lifts at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX, to help patients achieve a naturally rested and youthful appearance.
What is a Brow or Forehead Lift?
Aging skin begins to sag and wrinkle due to the loss of collagen and elastin that occurs over time. A brow lift is a surgical procedure that is performed to lift and rejuvenate sagging tissues in the forehead, creating a more youthful appearance and alert expression. While some patients can get their desired results with a simple blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), others need the drooping tissues of the brow lifted in order to open up the eyes.
This procedure once involved a long incision that extended from ear to ear across the scalp, which could cause scarring, hair loss, and persistent numbness in the area, side effects that deterred many patients from gaining the benefits of an elevated brow.
Today, the minimally-invasive endoscopic approach is the most common technique for brow lift procedures, which results in a shorter recovery time, and beautiful, natural-looking results. Instead of one long incision, the procedure involves several smaller incisions and utilizing special instruments that result in reduced scarring, hair loss, and numbness.
The Benefits of an Endoscopic Brow Lift
Dr. Buckingham uses the endoscopic approach for forehead lifts because he believes that this technique offers patients the biggest benefits. Patients who choose the endoscopic brow lift can expect some or all of the following results:
- A more awake, alert expression
- Reduced lines and furrows in the brow
- A more youthful, rejuvenated appearance
- Improved self-confidence
The endoscopic brow lift also has the benefit of reduced swelling, bruising, and recovery time when compared to traditional forehead lift procedures.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Because there are several different options for surgical facial rejuvenation, it is important to know the different options and choose the procedure that suits your individual needs. Good candidates for a brow lift are men and women who have begun to notice the effects of drooping skin and muscles in the forehead. Because it can be difficult to determine whether a forehead lift or a blepharoplasty is the best option for rejuvenating the eye and forehead area, it is important to get an expert opinion from a plastic surgeon about which treatment is more appropriate.
Patients who wish to undergo an endoscopic brow lift should be in general good health and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Smokers must quit some weeks before the surgery since safety and proper healing can be compromised by smoking. Individual candidacy for the procedure will be determined during the initial consultation with Dr. Buckingham.
Your Brow Lift Consultation
Before you can schedule a brow lift procedure at Buckingham Center in Austin, you will need to meet with Dr. Buckingham to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure and help you decide whether or not you would like to move forward with the procedure.
During this consultation, Dr. Buckingham will discuss your goals for plastic surgery with you. He will perform an examination of the forehead and eye area, and will recommend a plan of action for helping you to reach your goals. He may suggest a different procedure, or a combination of treatments if he feels it will be the best option for your individual needs.
Because your safety is the top priority at Buckingham Center, Dr. Buckingham will go over your health history and ensure you are a good candidate for an endoscopic brow lift. You should come to your consultation prepared to ask questions and address any concerns you may have. Dr. Buckingham will give you everything you need to make an informed decision.
The Forehead Lift Procedure
Endoscopic brow lift procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can be driven home shortly after the procedure is complete. Before the surgery, patients will be given anesthesia. Typically, this will include a local anesthetic and sedation to ensure safety and comfort throughout the surgery.
Once the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Buckingham will make several short incisions in discreet locations, allowing him to access the tissues of the forehead with his instruments. Dr. Buckingham will then release the attachments of the brow and allow for natural elevation to occur. Once this process is complete, the incisions will be closed.
Recovery and Downtime
After the procedure, patients should plan to take about a week off from normal activities, although some patients feel well enough to return to work in 8-10 days and normal routines in 14 days. Bruising and swelling are to be expected, although any discomfort can be controlled with medication and by following Dr. Buckingham’s postoperative instructions. Some activities will be restricted during the initial recovery period, including strenuous exercise. Patients should follow all instructions closely to promote optimal results and rapid healing.
Will I look surprised after brow lift surgery?
One complication of the traditional forehead lift was often a “surprised” expression. This was an indication that the brow was lifted too high, producing an unnatural appearance. The endoscopic lift, when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, produces a very natural expression and should avoid leaving the patient looking perpetually surprised.
Is there a difference between the results of a traditional brow lift and an endoscopic brow lift?
While the traditional brow lift can lift the tissues more than an endoscopic lift can, this does not mean that the older techniques provide superior results. The results of an endoscopic lift are more natural, avoiding many of the aesthetic pitfalls of older techniques.
Why do I need a consultation before I can schedule a brow lift?
Before you can undergo a brow lift, an expert plastic surgeon needs to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure and come up with a custom treatment plan. It is also important to get to know and trust your surgeon. The consultation is an opportunity to build rapport and make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon.
Will an endoscopic brow lift stop aging?
No plastic surgery will not stop the aging process altogether. However, a brow lift can make you look years younger, and can effectively slow down the aging process. Depending on when you have the surgery and your lifestyle choices, you can enjoy the benefits of a brow lift for several years.
Will there be any scarring?
All surgery produces some scarring, but the incisions made during an endoscopic brow lift minimize scarring. They are strategically placed in the hair-bearing scalp to reduce visibility, and because they are shorter than the traditional incisions, they tend to fade better over time.
What are the risks of an endoscopic brow lift?
As with any surgery, an endoscopic brow lift does carry some risk, although the risk is very minimal when a board-certified plastic surgeon performs the procedure. Bleeding, infection, unfavorable scarring, hair loss, numbness, motor nerve injury, anesthesia complications, and a poor aesthetic outcome are all potential complications, but most of these are very rare.
Who should perform my forehead lift?
You should choose an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Surgeons who specialize in facial procedures tend to have more experience, which helps to ensure good results.
How can I get an idea of how my brow lift will look after surgery?
Before-and-after photos from your surgeon’s past patients will give you a good idea of the kind of results you can expect. At home, you can get an idea of how a brow lift will help rejuvenate your face by lifting the skin at the sides of your forehead.
What’s the best age for an endoscopic forehead lift?
There is no “right age” for an endoscopic brow lift. Any healthy adult with signs of forehead aging is a potential candidate. However, most brow lift patients are in their 40s, or 50s or above. Everyone ages at a different rate, which is why it is important to consult with an expert plastic surgeon about what surgery is most appropriate for your needs.
How painful is the procedure?
During the procedure, anesthesia will ensure that patients feel no pain. During recovery, prescribed medications can control discomfort, which is typically minimal.
Natural Rejuvenation in Austin
If you would like to look like a younger, more vibrant version of yourself, then an endoscopic brow lift might be the perfect solution for you. Dr. Edward Buckingham is double board-certified in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology and is dedicated to giving his patients beautiful, natural results. To schedule a brow lift consultation at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX, call 512.401.2500 today.