As a skilled oculofacial plastic surgeon, Dr. Kristin Tarbet performs many brow lift surgeries. As we age, our brows can become heavy and gravity begins to take control, which may make you look angry or have a tired look. Heavy brows can droop over your eyelids, which can also obscure your vision as your skin and muscles lose strength.
Dr. Kristin Tarbet will ensure that your brows will still maintain their natural appearance.
It is common for inexperienced surgeons to place brows too high, causing a more surprised look for patients. Dr. Tarbet’s technique ensures that your brow will maintain the natural curvature you have always had in your youth and sits just above the orbital ridge to give you a natural look.
What is a brow lift?
A brow lift is a surgical procedure targeting the entire forehead and the brows. Dr. Tarbet’s goal with these procedures is to bring the brows and forehead skin back up to their younger positions. This will make the patient appear more alert and younger. It will remove the drooping, sagging countenance that is aging you beyond your years.
In this surgery, Dr. Tarbet repositions or adjusts the muscles above the eyes and across the forehead. She also relieves the muscles that create the vertical lines between the eyebrows, commonly known as the 11s.
Blepharoplasty Before & After
Who is a good candidate for a brow lift?
Most of our brow lift patients are between the ages of 40 and 60 with sagging brows and noticeable aging on their forehead skin. This surgery aims to elevate the brows, erase the lines and creases on the forehead, and eliminate any hooding that is occurring above the eyes.
Genetics can play a role in how your brows age. Some people simply are prone to more sagging and drooping in this area. And this can make people think you’re either really tired, sad, or mad most of the time. If you get asked about those things, a brow lift could be a great procedure.
How is a brow lift performed?
Dr. Tarbet uses two methods for her brow lifts. She prefers to use the endoscopic method, as this limits the incision length and creates a markedly easier recovery. But for some patients, this method doesn’t allow enough tissue repositioning and trimming, and a coronal method may be necessary. During your consultation, she will discuss your options with you and detail what she feels will best suit your situation.
- Endoscopic brow lift — The endoscope has really changed the brow lift, making this method the preferred option. Dr. Tarbet makes three to five short incisions within the patient’s hairline. An endoscope, a tiny instrument with a camera on the end, is inserted into one of the incisions to provide a visual. This eliminates the need to pull away from the entire brow skin from the support tissues to gain visual access. Dr. Tarbet then inserts tools into the other incisions to manipulate the skin and muscles. Because of the small incisions, there is minimal scarring with an endoscopic lift.
- Coronal brow lift — Prior to the development of the endoscope, a coronal brow lift was the only available option. Also known as the “traditional” brow lift, this involves a single coronal incision that runs from one ear, wraps up and around the forehead, and terminates at the other ear. The incision is hidden within the hairline. The skin is lifted away from the forehead and the underlying muscles are trimmed and repositioned as needed. If there is serious sagging, the eyebrows may be lifted.
What is recovery like after a brow lift?
You will definitely have swelling and bruising after your brow lift, and this can migrate down into your cheeks and around your eyes. While unpleasant, this should run its course in a week to 10 days. For the first two or three days after your surgery, you’ll need to keep your head elevated, even while sleeping. This really helps with both swelling and bruising.
Traditional brow lifts involve more numbness and discomfort along the incision.
Initial numbness will be replaced by itching that can last up to six months. Often, the hair near the incision will fall out or thin, but normal hair growth should return within weeks or a few months.
Endoscopic brow lifts will also involve some numbness due to tissue manipulation, but there is far less itching than traditional methods.
During your recovery, it’s important to keep your blood pressure on your face down. This means that bending down, lifting, or any activities where you can feel the pressure build around your eyes and forehead needs to be avoided.
Will a brow lift change the shape of my eyes or change my hairline?
No. The muscles involved with brow lifts have nothing to do with the eyes. Dr. Tarbet makes sure to elevate the brows only as much as looks natural. As for the hairline, the small incisions with an endoscopic lift are virtually invisible very quickly. With a coronal brow lift, some patients can have some temporary issues with hair growth, but this typically resolves after a couple of months as the skin and nerves adapt.
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How long will my results from my brow lift last?
These changes made by Dr. Tarbet are permanent. Your transverse and frown lines on your forehead will never be as severe again. However, your brows will continue to descend with age. Your best results will be visible for 10-15 years, but your sagging will never be severe again.
Can I combine a brow lift with other procedures?
Dr. Tarbet often has patients combine a brow lift with eyelid surgery to fully rejuvenate the upper third of the face. That way the sagging brows are targeted by the brow lift, but the sagging eyelid skin is also taken care of with eyelid surgery. Some patients combine a brow lift with a facelift. This is a natural combination, as well, because a brow lift targets the brows and forehead, while a facelift targets the mid and lower face and jowls.
What are the potential risks involved with brow lifts?
This is major surgery, even the endoscopic method, so it entails all the same risks involved with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, reaction to anesthesia, infection, and the like. Dr. Tarbet’s double-board certification training and extensive experience make any of these issues very rare.
For brow lifts, the main specific risk is possible numbness across the forehead due to the lifting and repositioning of the tissue. In most cases, this begins as numbness but then it progresses to itching before fully resolving. The nerves are adjusting to the changes made.
“Absolutely one of my favorite procedures to perform because it offers such an immediate, visible result with very little downtime – and no scar! Everyone simply looks more youthful.” – Dr. Kristin Tarbet