Brow Lift in the San Francisco Bay Area

Brow Lift (Forehead Lift) Surgery for Patients in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto

Find Out What Forehead Lift Surgery Can Do

The brow lift is popular at our San Francisco Bay Area practice, because changes around the eyes are often the earliest signs of aging. A droopy eyebrow can make a person look tired, older, or even angry. As we age, the brows descend downward with gravity, creating a heaviness to the forehead and the upper eyelid. We communicate a great deal with our eyes, and even subtle changes in the appearance of this area can greatly affect the way we are perceived. More importantly, always looking tired or worn-out can significantly affect your own self-confidence on a daily basis.

Our goal with a brow lift (or forehead lift) procedure is to restore the brow and forehead to a more youthful, natural appearance. It is definitely possible to overdo this type of surgery. At For the Face - Lieberman and Parikh Facial Plastic Surgery, we take great care to reposition the brow and forehead to rejuvenate the area without creating a "surprised" look. Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh are both trained to perform cosmetic surgery exclusively on the face, and are each able to perform multiple types of brow lift techniques. When appropriate, we prefer to use an endoscopic approach through mini-incisions hidden behind the hairline. No matter which approach is chosen, the goal is always to achieve a natural, refreshed appearance.

Pre-Operative Process

Am I a candidate for a brow lift (forehead lift)?

Not everyone is a candidate for a brow lift procedure. Selecting the right candidate for surgery is an important part of every consultation.

Common reasons for seeking out this type of surgery:

  • Eyebrows that have descended toward the upper eyelid
  • Crowding of the upper eyelid region with bunching of the thin eyelid skin
  • Bunching of skin at the outside corner of the eyes
  • Deep forehead wrinkles and frown lines
  • Always looking fatigued or angry

A large number of patients actually have trouble seeing because of the droopy skin at the upper eyelid. Often these patients will elect to have brow lift surgery in addition to upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), as treating the upper eyelids alone is not always enough to rejuvenate the area. Please feel free to speak to one of us about when upper eyelid surgery is medically necessary.

Brow lift candidates should also be in general good health and understand the surgical process and expected results. It is recommended that you avoid any smoking or tobacco products in the weeks before your surgery to ensure proper blood flow and promote effective healing to minimize the appearance of any scars. This applies for the weeks after your surgery as well. Patients should also refrain from drinking alcohol prior to their surgery, as well as taking medications that cause the blood to thin. Talk with your primary care physician about your brow lift plans, and share any medical information with your For the Face doctor during your consultation.

Brow Lift Technique

How is brow lift surgery performed?

The forehead lift, or brow lift, typically takes between one and two hours to complete. You will first receive an anesthetic to make you more comfortable.

As mentioned before, we are able to offer multiple different surgical techniques:

The endoscopic approach is a modern, advanced brow lift method that involves the doctor performing the surgery with help from a camera at the end of a long, thin tube inserted through small incisions hidden within the hair. This method allows for the precision targeting of muscle and other tissue, which is adjusted as necessary via another incision to create new, smoother contours. Once lifted, these tissues will be secured in place.

Another brow lift approach involves what is known as a coronal incision, typically made in a line running over the top of the head from ear to ear. The length of this incision allows the doctor to lift a large flap of skin and see all of the tissue to be repositioned and adjusted. When the skin is redraped over the area, it is pulled tighter to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and any excess is trimmed away. Since this technique can change the position of a person’s hairline, it isn’t recommended for certain patients. If the patient has a very high forehead, for instance, a variation on this technique may be used.

The hairline brow lift involves an incision that sits at the top of the forehead, but below the hairline. When the forehead skin is pulled tight, the hairline and scalp stay in place. This may be done for people who show signs of losing their hair or who have an already receding hairline, to avoid pulling that line back even farther. Patients who want to learn more about hair restoration in relation to or apart from a brow lift can talk to Dr. Lieberman and Dr. Parikh, who offer dedicated hair-focused procedures.

In all of these brow lift cases, any incisions are carefully closed after the adjustments are made and, in the case of coronal and hairline brow lifts, the remaining skin is put back into place.

At For the Face - Lieberman and Parikh Facial Plastic Surgery, we prefer using an endoscopic approach for a variety of reasons, though the technique used for each particular case is determined based on several factors specific to the person. Most of our brow lift patients go home the same day and return on the first day after their surgery for dressing removal.

What should I expect on the day of surgery?

Prior to surgery you will meet the anesthesia team and likely will be asked to review your allergies and major medical history. You'll be given a medication to help you relax. Patients will be unconscious for the duration of the procedure. When you wake up after your brow lift there will be a soft dressing around the top of your head and a single small drain that is removed on the first day after surgery. We work hard with the anesthesiologist to minimize any nausea or pain after surgery. After one to two hours of recovery, you can be discharged from the surgery center with a family member or friend to drive you home. We ask that someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Brow Lift Post-Operative Recovery Process

What should I expect after my forehead lift surgery?

As mentioned previously, a small drain is removed the day after surgery. Sutures are removed between five and seven days after the procedure. Recovery will likely last from a week to two weeks. Bruising is common but does not occur in every brow lift patient. Makeup can be used to camouflage any bruising, and we are happy to assist you in choosing an effective cover-up regimen. All activity including full exercise can be resumed at three weeks. We follow each patient closely after surgery to ensure the best possible long-term results.

In general, patients are advised to keep their head elevated as they rest in the days after a brow lift, and to keep swelling to a minimum by applying cold compresses. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your incisions, as well as when you can resume washing the treated area.

BROW LIFT RECOVERY

Drain/Bandage Removal

1 day

Suture Removal

5-7 days

Return to Work

1-2 weeks

75%

2 months

100%

6 months

Our core objective is to provide a safe, comfortable surgical experience that aspires to restore your appearance and aims to produce natural results. We have provided before and after photos of our patients to help you visualize the possibilities. Keep in mind that the images can give you an idea of what forehead lift surgery can do, but that each patient’s results will be unique and depend on individual anatomy and skin tone, the degree of wrinkling and creasing present before the procedure, the desired results, and personal choices that impact skin and overall health.

Brow lift results

The crease-smoothing effects of a brow lift are not temporary, as with non-surgical options, though the procedure does not prevent the skin from continuing to age as time passes, muscles move, and UV radiation impacts the area. Think of the surgery as a reset button for your forehead, giving you a fresh, more youthful start.

The best way to preserve the results of a brow lift is to avoid sun exposure by staying out of direct sunlight and using a properly effective sunscreen. Talk to the For the Face team for more advice on maximizing your brow lift results and maintaining long-term satisfaction.

What can complement a brow lift?

As noted above, a brow lift often goes well with upper eyelid surgery, giving that whole area of the face a revitalized appearance. A lower-lid blepharoplasty addresses bagginess beneath the eyes.

On the lower half of the face, a facelift, neck lift, or combination of the two can adjust the contours there. Frequently, patients who have a procedure done to one area enjoy the results and are inspired to continue their transformative journey with more procedures to rejuvenate other areas of the face.

Note that a brow lift does not address pigmentation issues. Skin resurfacing treatments are available for patients who want to reduce sun spots and age spots, acne scars, melasma, uneven skin tone, and large pores. Options include chemical peels of various depths, dermabrasion to lightly abrade away the outermost layers of skin, lasers to rejuvenate the area with heat energy, and Micropen to stimulate new collagen and elastin.

Dr. David Lieberman, Dr. Sachin Parikh, and the For the Face team coordinate to ensure that each patient understands what the various available procedures and treatments can accomplish and how they can work together to yield harmonious, natural-looking results.

Are there any alternatives to brow lift surgery?

Only a surgical brow lift can deliver the significant, long-lasting results that many patients are seeking. Other options are available, however, for those who want to smooth out obvious lines to get a refreshed and rejuvenated look.

A moderate, temporary brow lift can be achieved with treatments such as Botox® Cosmetic or Dysport®. This is often known as a "chemical" brow lift or "non-surgical" brow lift. These prescription medications are injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines and forehead creases, with results typically lasting between three to six months. They work by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows. When these medications are placed in very precise locations, the brow can be lifted and the forehead will appear softer and smoother. While this type of brow lift is a temporary solution, the treatment can serve as a bridge for patients who are considering surgery or who want a simple way to rejuvenate the area around the eyes and forehead.

Ultherapy® is also a great non-surgical option for tightening and lifting the brow. Ultherapy® uses ultrasound technology to create a natural lift with a single treatment and zero downtime. Please ask us about this procedure at the time of your consultation.