Even when you’re happy, energetic, and enjoying yourself, people often ask you why you’re sad, angry, tired, or even disgusted. These inaccurate assessments of your mood seem like they occur more frequently as you age. This isn’t uncommon, as the aging process causes your face to convey negative emotions regardless of how great you’re feeling inside. It’s all because of the manner in which aging and gravity affect your face, pulling everything downward to form a permanent expression of negativity. As a matter of fact, a 2008 study published in the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that by simply modifying a photo of a younger person to have more wrinkles and droopiness in the upper third of his face, study participants perceived the person to be exactly how you have also been misperceived: sad, angry, tired, or disgusted.
Dr. Stephen Brown has spent over two decades of his distinguished medical career in addressing the complexities of facial aging. In his professional opinion, the most effective surgical treatment to address wrinkles and sagging in your brow area is a browlift, also known as a forehead lift. Please call 905-849-4282 to reserve a private consultation with Dr. Brown, who can confirm the suitability of the procedure for you. When you meet him, you’ll find his demeanour to be calm, gentle and compassionate, all traits that have made Dr. Brown a prominent plastic surgeon who serves as an Expert Witness at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Facial Features and Expressions Determine Attractiveness
The aesthetic appeal of your face is influenced far more than the shape of your eyes, nose and mouth; it also relies on what emotional expressions are displayed. Because there is no doubt that positive expressions are generally perceived as more attractive, how do you think people react to you when they see you looking angry or disgusted all the time?
Prior to surgery, many of our browlift patients believed that the only goal achievable through their treatment was looking younger. However, they were pleasantly surprised following surgery, when their results proved to offer so much more to their emotional well-being. They certainly felt better because they looked younger and better, but they also discovered that they were no longer misperceived as always feeling negatively. Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances could more accurately determine what they actually felt, whether it be happiness, warmth, or passion. Patients experienced a positive and invaluable impact on their social relationships. Chances are, you will experience the same result following your browlift at Briarwood Cosmetic Surgical Centre.
Brow Lift Candidates
Most people can benefit from a brow lift, but, as with any type of surgery, certain physical characteristics may make one patient more suitable for the procedure than another. The initial consultation will help determine whether or not a brow lift is right for you. At this stage, Dr. Brown will reference your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam in order to best understand your situation. He is able to use this information alongside your improvement goals to project the type of results possible through the lift.
The potential surgical risks and aesthetic improvements involved with a brow lift will differ from person to person. In all cases, though, specific physical traits will determine if you’re a good or bad candidate for the operation.
Features of Suitable Brow Lift Patients
Brow lifts are best suited to healthy men and women who are usuallly between 40 and 65 years old, a time when sagging becomes more noticeable. This doesn’t mean, however, that an individual in their 30s can’t benefit from treatment. Our genetics can make us look older than our actual age or cause us to have physical traits that can be addressed through a lift. The procedure is ideal for anyone with heavy, sagging, or lowered brows that make them look unnaturally sad or tired. It also helps resolve conditions, like deep frown lines that have developed at the top of the nose or between the eyebrows. If the your forehead is marked with deep, horizontal creases, you may also be a good candidate for the treatment.
A healthy skin tone also makes for a good brow lift surgery candidate. It may seem like individuals who are bald or have a receding hairline would not be ideal lift patients due to the potential for visible scarring, but in these cases incisions can be placed in an alternative location that properly hides them from view.
Anyone who is prone to developing thick scar tissue or who has a history of problematic blood clotting may be unsuitable for surgery. Uncontrolled hypertension can also make a lift dangerous. People who suffer from bell’s palsy, exophthalmic thyroid disease (characterized by protruding eyes), or excessively dry eyes cannot undergo a brow lift. Other physical conditions that make a lift unadvisable include advanced eyebrow drooping (or ptosis) and an insufficient amount of forehead skin. A person who has sagging and creased mouth corners or droopy cheeks may not be able to achieve acceptable results as well.
Anyone who has undergone aggressive eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) in the past should not receive a brow lift, since dry eyes associated with blepharoplasty can be worsened, leading to irritated and chronically tearing eyes. Smokers and those with generally poor health are not ideal candidates for treatment either.
Eyebrow Lift Surgery
As we age, our foreheads and brows begin to droop and sag, making us look angry, depressed, or tired when we’re actually well rested and perfectly happy. A brow lift works to lift and tighten sagging brow tissue, revitalizing the appearance and leaving patients looking younger and more refreshed.
A brow lift typically takes about one and a half to three hours and involves general anaesthetic. Dr. Brown will choose to employ either a traditional or endoscopic technique depending on your unique aesthetic concerns. Some patients may benefit from having excess eyelid skin removed in tandem with their brow lift to achieve the best possible results. Dr. Brown is able to determine which approach to take after performing a physical exam and listening to his patient’s improvement goals during the consultation.
Traditional or Coronal Brow Lift
A traditional/coronal brow lift involves an incision that runs across the scalp from ear to ear. This is positioned behind the hairline, to minimize visible scarring, or at the middle of the scalp, if the patient has thin hair or is bald. The coronal technique can help provide a greater degree of brow lifting and hairline adjustment than the endoscopic approach, but leaves behind a more noticeable level of scarring.
A complication related to the traditional method is temporary hair loss (postoperative alopecia). Though this problem only develops in 2% of patients, it can last for several months. Once the hair has regrown it may be thinner than before.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
An endoscopic brow lift involves the creation of a few tiny scalp incisions that are, as in the traditional approach, hidden behind the hairline. The incisions made during an endoscopic lift allow for a shorter recovery time than what is possible through a traditional lift.
Recovering From a Brow Lift
After 24 to 48 hours, you will see Dr. Brown for a post-surgical checkup. During this visit, he will change head dressings, assess the level of surgical site bleeding, and monitor your discomfort. Postoperative pain will be managed with medications, prescribed before the operation. You may resume washing your hair and showering after this appointment.
Patients should expect to experience bruising and swelling around their eyes typically for seven to ten days after surgery. Blood thinning medication (like ibuprofen/aspirin) should be avoided for two weeks before the surgery in order to minimize this complication. Dr. Brown will recommend sleeping with the head elevated and, possibly, the use of specific medication (such as Arnica Montana) to help with your recovery.
A week after surgery, you stitches will be removed and a removable head bandage is provided. There will still be some bruising at this point, but you’ll be able to return to your usual schedule (avoiding strenuous activities and exercise). Those who have undergone an endoscopic lift may be ready to head back to work after one week. After ten to fourteen days the bruising should have diminished to the point that patients who received a traditional lift are ready to go out in public. Around the two week mark it is still important to avoid sun exposure, heavy lifting, and tough work outs.
Dr. Brown will continue to advise patients during their follow-up appointments. In most cases, normal exercise may be resumed after four to six weeks. All scalp numbness should be gone within three to six months. If pinkish or slightly raised incision marks are left behind, they will also become less noticeable over time. Any other lingering side effects (e.g. temporarily thinned hair or marks left behind after the use of an endotine device during surgery) will resolve themselves as well.
It is possible for brow lift patients to develop infections or suffer from excessive bleeding. In some cases they may also experience scalp numbness, localized hair loss, weakened forehead muscles, or asymmetrical results.
Recovery From Brow Lift Surgery
Congratulations, you’ve just had a brow lift! After all the preparation and time you’ve put in to make this happen, you’re now well on your way to seeing the beautiful results you want. However, the time following your surgery is extremely important in helping making your results reality. You’ll need to follow Dr. Brown’s post-care instructions closely. These include details on how to care for your incisions, what you can expect while you recovery and what things you should look out for in terms of any possible complications.
Right After Your Brow Lift Surgery
Swelling and discomfort will most likely be at its peak. In addition to medications to help you deal with the discomfort (often described as tightness), cold packs may be placed around the eyes to help with swelling. These symptoms will subside in a few days, usually by the end of the first week.
You’ll need plenty of rest, but make sure to keep your head elevated while doing so to decrease swelling. Don’t sleep on your front for this same reason. However, please don’t spend all your time in bed. Move around slowly to keep your circulation going. This helps with recovery.
Drink plenty of fluids to help replace lost fluids.
After the third day or so, you’ll notice bruising to be at its most visible. This will resolve itself within two or three weeks.
A temporary change in sensitivity may occur in the treated area, usually in the form of numbness. Please be careful because of this, especially when showering (which you can generally do after the first day). When the sensation returns in the weeks after surgery, you’ll most likely feel itchy in the area. This is common, as it indicates your nerves are “waking up” again.
Post-op appointments will be scheduled with Dr. Brown to ensure you’re recovering well. Any sutures will be removed about one week after your brow lift.
You’ll be able to start exercising after about a month after surgery.