A brow lift is a safe, effective and commonly performed procedure used to help restore youthfulness to the brow area. Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Virginia Beach, VA, who specializes in brow lift procedures.
The forehead is one of the most telling facial features. When gravity and aging processes cause the muscles and tissues of the forehead to wrinkle and sag, patients appear older, more tired, and less energetic that they feel. They may also experience a decrease in self-esteem. In order to restore facial harmony and make patients look younger, a brow lift may be performed. The procedure is one of the most advanced facial plastic surgery procedures. It has helped countless patients achieve excellent and long-lasting results.
The Brow Lift Procedure with Dr. Choe
Dr. Choe performs the brow lift as an outpatient procedure using IV sedation and local anesthesia. During the procedure, patients are completely asleep and do not hear or feel anything. The steps of the procedure are as follows:
- The incision. An incision is made within the hairline. The incision is placed so Dr. Choe can access the muscles and soft tissues that are causing brow wrinkling and sagging. When a brow lift is performed endoscopically, several ½-1 inch incisions are made across the hairline. These incisions serve as the sites for which a tiny endoscopic camera and special instruments will be inserted to perform the procedure.
- The brow lift. Choe carefully separates loose skin and weakened muscles from the forehead bone. He removes small portions of weakened muscle so that only strong and healthy muscle remains. The muscles, soft tissues, and skin are gently pulled up to lift the brow. Once the lifted brow is in a perfect position, it is fixated using special sutures or absorbable fixation devices.
- The closure. The incisions are carefully closed using small sutures that will be removed within 7-10 days after surgery. Sterile dressings are placed over the incisions and a soft dressing is gently wrapped around them.
The total time for a brow lift procedure is dependent on the amount of work that is done and if other procedures are performed. Generally speaking, patients should expect the procedure to take approximately 1-1.5 hours.
Recovery from a Brow Lift
After the procedure is complete, the patient is brought to the postoperative recovery unit. The patient will be monitored by recovery unit staff while the effects of anesthesia and medications used during surgery wear off. Patients can expect a slight amount of discomfort and swelling after surgery. Pain, forehead numbness, and bruising may also be present. Typically, these post-surgery side effects are easily controlled through the use of medications.
Once the patient is awake and alert, instructions regarding how to take care of the dressings and how to properly take medications will be given. The patient will then be cleared. Patients are asked to make arrangements for a friend or family member to drive them home and stay with them for at least 24 hours after surgery. Dr. Choe will see the patient the next morning.
During a 7-10 day time frame, post-surgical swelling decreases and the brow is restored to its normal appearance. Light activities and a return to work are generally allowed after Dr. Choe sees patients for the second time 7ays after surgery. If patients are concerned about redness, swelling, or bruising being noticeable, cosmetics may be used to effectively conceal areas of concern.
General guidelines that patients should follow throughout their recovery process include the following:
- Diligently use sun protection
- Attend all follow-up appointments
- Avoid itching or scratching the surgical site
Patients who follow these guidelines and the recommendations made by Dr. Choe at their follow-up appointments can look forward to a smooth recovery process and maximum results.
Brow Lift Results
Patients will notice improvements immediately after their surgical bandage is removed. As swelling decreases, results will improve. Final results are typically seen approximately 1-3 months after surgery. The most common results include the following:
- l reduction or elimination of the wrinkles between the eyebrows and bridge of the nose
- Substantial reduction or elimination of the wrinkles on the mid-forehead
- A raised brow that does not droop or sag
Results of a brow lift procedure are not permanent. However, patients who exercise, eat healthy, do not smoke, and take proper skin care precautions can see their results last for up to 8 to10 years.
Good Candidates for a Brow Lift
Brow lifts may be performed on both men and women. Typical candidates include the following:
- Patients who have experienced age-related forehead changes that they would like to improve
- Patients who look angry, tired, or sad when they are not
- Patients whose vision has been affected by a drooping brow
The procedure is usually only performed on healthy, nonsmoking adults with no serious illnesses or medical conditions that can impair healing. Additionally, the procedure is reserved for patients who have realistic goals and a positive mindset.
An Initial Consultation with Dr. Choe
An initial consultation with Dr. Choe is a thorough one. During the first part of an initial consultation, the following steps occur:
- Choe works with the patient to obtain and review their complete medical history
- Choe conducts a physical examination in which the patient’s anatomy, hairline position, and physical appearance are analyzed
Once these steps are complete, Dr. Choe and the patient have a discussion regarding the patient’s goals and treatment options. Should a brow lift be the procedure that is right for the patient, Dr. Choe will go into great detail describing how the patient’s procedure will be performed and what type of results they can expect. He will also invite the patient to bring up any concerns or ask any questions so he can properly address/answer them.
Frequently Asked Questions about Brow Lift
Are there risks associated with having a brow lift procedure?
There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. The main risks specific to a brow lift procedure generally include the following:
- Temporary hair loss
- Facial and/or brow numbness
- Temporary impairment in facial movement
There are also risks associated with anesthesia. Before you make the decision to undergo surgery, Dr. Choe will go over all risks in great detail. He will also explain the measures he takes to ensure risks are greatly reduced.
What are the different types of incisions made to perform brow lifts?
Different types of incisions are used to help patients achieve the look they want. The three incisions that are used include the following:
- Five incisions measuring ½-1 inch in length are made within the hairline. Endoscopic brow lifts are the most commonly performed type of brow lift today.
- An incision that is made within the hair. Coronal incisions extend across the top of the head. They are used to treat patients who have heavy skin and/or deep wrinkles.
- Two incisions are made on the sides of the head. Lateral incisions are used to perform an endoscopic brow lift on patients who only want issues on the sides of their brow addressed.
An additional incision that is sometimes used is an anterior hairline incision. The incision extends along the anterior hairline and blends with the hair follicles. The incision is typically used to lower a patient’s hairline.
How do I know which incision is right for me?
Dr. Choe performs the majority of his brow lifts using endoscopic incisions. If a different type of incision better suits your treatment needs, he will discuss your options during your initial consultation.
How painful is an endoscopic brow lift?
Dr. Choe’s patients tell him that they typically experience discomfort rather than pain after their surgery. They also note that discomfort is easily managed with oral pain medications and diminishes each day after surgery.
Can I have a brow lift if I have thinning hair or am bald?
Yes. Dr. Choe uses limited incision techniques to perform brow lifts on patients who have thinning hair or are bald.
Will I have a scar after my procedure? Will it be noticeable?
All surgical incisions result in a scar. Because Dr. Choe carefully places incisions within the hairline and along natural skinfolds, his patients do not have noticeable scarring after their procedure.
Can I combine my procedure with other procedures?
Brow lift procedures can be combined with other procedures. The three most common procedures Dr. Choe performs in conjunction with a brow lift include the following:
- Blepharoplasty (Eyelid surgery)
- Mid-face lift
If you are interested in these or other procedures, you can discuss your options with Dr. Choe at your initial consultation.
Will a brow lift make me look too alert or too feminine?
Dr. Choe performs elegant brow lifts that produce a youthful and proportioned look. You will not look too alert or too feminine after your procedure.
Can I see before and after photos of some of Dr. Choe’s patients?
Dr. Choe would love to show you before and after photos. He will choose patients whose facial features closely resemble yours so you can know what type of results to expect.
How do I know if I am a candidate?
The first step to definitively determine if you are a candidate for a brow lift is to arrange your initial consultation.
What should I bring to my initial consultation?
You are encouraged to bring the following to your initial consultation:
- A list of all the medications, supplements, and vitamins you take
- A list of the medications you are allergic to
- A list of questions for Dr. Choe
If you would like to bring photographs to go over with Dr. Choe, you may do so. Additionally, you should be prepared to discuss your medical history and goals that you would like surgery to achieve.
How do I arrange my initial consultation with Dr. Choe?
You can arrange your initial consultation by contacting Dr. Choe’s office in Virginia Beach, VA, at (757)389-5850 or by visiting https://www.choecenter.com/contact.