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Brow Lift

Brow lift is surgical raising of the eyebrows performed to improve vision or open the eye appearance. A brow lift is an appropriate option for someone whose vision is blocked primarily by descent of the forehead and brow with time and gravity. A droopy brow, called brow ptosis, may cause a skeptical or tired appearance. Additionally, brow ptosis can limit peripheral vision and cause nightly headaches from straining of the eyebrows.

There are many ways to lift a brow – each with their benefits and risks. Surgery can be performed directly above the brow by making an incision and removing redundant tissue. This is called a direct supraciliary brow lift. This option has the benefit of allowing a significant lift in the brow for patients with quite droopy brows, however, it may also result in a noticeable scar that does not hide well behind the brow hairs. An internal browpexy is a brow lift done at the time of a blepharoplasty where the brow is stabilized to the forehead. This option is convenient for patients undergoing a blepharoplasty and there is no additional scar. An internal browpexy may not provide a significant elevation of the brows and is focused at preventing further brow ptosis. Another way to lift the brow is via an endoscopic brow lift. This surgery is performed behind the hair line through small incisions that can be used to free the brow down to the eyelids and lift the entire brow and forehead toward the hairline. The benefit of this surgery is that there are typically no visible scars, however, this option moves the hairline back and may not be a good option for someone with a receding hairline. Finally, a pretrichial (or hairline) brow lift is performed by making an incision at the hairline and lifting the entire brow and forehead via this way. The scar is hidden when the hair is relaxed over the incision. The drawback with this surgical type is that it is a larger surgery with more recovery and longterm numbness in the scalp after surgery.

A direct brow lift or internal browpexy can be done in the office surgical suite under light sedation. An endoscopic brow lift or a pretrichial brow lift is typically done in the operating room under general anesthesia. Patients can return home immediately after the procedure and resume nearly all normal daily activities the next day.

The results of can reverse time, often reducing 20+ years of aging to the brows. However, a brow lift does not stop aging, and over time, the laxity of the forehead and brow will continue to change and age. The gains made with a brow lift, however, will not be lost. If needed a repeat brow lift can be performed in a person’s lifetime.

Whether or not a brow lift is covered by insurance is based on the amount of brow droop and the amount of tissue blocking the vision. Dr. McDevitt and Dr. Sweeney will evaluate you for the degree of brow droop and perform standardized photography and visual field tests to help determine if you meet the criteria of your insurance company for an insurance-covered surgery. If you do not meet the criteria for insurance-covered surgery, you can either wait until the brows age to meet the insurance criteria or you can proceed with surgery covering the costs of surgery yourself. When the surgery is paid for by the patient rather than an insurance company, this is considered a cosmetic brow lift.

Scars are often the biggest concern for patients undergoing a brow lift. You can do numerous things to assist in the healing and hiding of scars after surgery. Wearing a good quality sunscreen with 30+ SPF daily on the brows for 4-6 months after surgery can prevent sun-related pigmentation of the scar. Utilizing the ointment the doctors provide and avoiding excessive manipulation after surgery assists the wound to heal as designed, minimizing a gape and preventing setbacks from infection. Keeping the scar and surrounding area clean after surgery with a gentle cleanser is also highly beneficial in the first weeks after surgery. Finally, over-the-counter and prescribed scar creams can be used to make the scar as unnoticeable as possible.