The area around your forehead, eyebrows and eyes is often the first to show signs of aging. While many people think of a facelift as the go-to anti-aging surgical procedure, a facelift does little to help the signs of aging in the forehead and brows. If your eyebrows are starting to droop and you have lines and wrinkles across your forehead, what you most likely want is a brow lift.

The procedure can take years off of your face. When performed with another surgery, such as a facelift, it can help create facial balance. Before you decide on a brow lift, there are few things to know about the surgery. Only a qualified plastic surgeon can help you decide if the procedure is right for you.

It Focuses on the Upper Part of the Face

The focus of a facelift is the lower third of the face. The focus of a brow lift is the upper third. Your surgeon may recommend the procedure to you if your eyebrows are positioned lower on your face, so that they droop or hang over the eyes. Low hanging brows might make you look sad, angry or tired. They can also make it more difficult to put makeup on the upper eyelid.

A brow lift can also help reduce the appearances of lines and wrinkles on the upper part of the face. The surgery can smooth out the “11s,” the two vertical lines that form between the brows, as well as the horizontal creases that form across the forehead.

There Are Different Types of Brow Lift

Not all brow lifts are the same. The major difference between them is the location and size of the incision. Dr. Kyle Choe performs an endoscopic brow lift at his practice. An endoscopic procedure requires very small incisions, made inside the hairline. The surgeon uses a scope, or camera, to guide him through the procedure. An endoscopic surgery is often  the best option if you are just beginning to have signs of aging in the brow area.

An open brow lift, sometimes called a coronal or traditional brow lift, makes a long incision, either across the top of the head or along the top of the forehead. After making the incision, the surgeon trims away extra fat, muscle and skin from the area, then stitches the incision closed. The drawbacks of this type of surgery are a larger scar, longer duration and longer healing time. Depending on the extent of aging on a patient’s face, it may be the more worthwhile option.

It Does Require Time Off

A brow lift isn’t a no-downtime procedure. The surgery typically takes a few hours and most patients can go home the same day. After that, you’ll need about a week to rest and recover, before you can head back to your job.

To help you manage discomfort after the procedure, your surgeon may prescribe medication or recommend a certain medicine to you. He or she will usually also recommend using ice packs to keep swelling to a minimum and that you sleep with your head elevated to keep swelling down.

Results Can Last a Long Time

The week or so you miss from work and the initial high cost of the surgery can be worth it for many patients, as the results typically last for a long time. You may see results from your brow lift for up to a decade after the surgery. If your results start to fade as you get older, you can consider a second procedure to help maintain them.

It may take some time after the procedure for results to become visible, though. You need to give the area time to heal. In most cases, patients see full results from the brow lift about six months after it.

There Is a Non-Surgical Option

Perhaps you’re still on the fence about having a brow lift and would like to try a similar procedure to see if it’s right for you. While Botox injections won’t give you identical results or results that last nearly as long as surgery, they can be placed in the brow area to help lift them. The injections can also help reduce the look of horizontal lines across your forehead or the frown lines between the brows. The treatment lasts for several months, after which you can have it repeated or make the leap to a brow lift.

Dr. Kyle Choe, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in the Virginia Beach area, can evaluate your face and let you know if surgery or injections are right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call 757.389.5850 today.