A brow or forehead lift is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the forehead. Time, environmental factors and genetics all affect the way our foreheads age. Common changes include poor skin tone and descent of the brows. Not uncommonly, patients come to see Dr. Barlow believing that they need an upper eyelid lift only to learn brow descent (or ptosis) is their actual issue. In all cases, Dr. Barlow strives to provide a natural-looking result while ensuring patient safety.
During your personalized consultation, Dr. Barlow will discuss your forehead changes with you. Together, you will formulate a surgical plan. You are encouraged to bring photographs of yourself taken when you were younger. This will facilitate Dr. Barlow's analysis of your age-related changes and allow formulation of the most appropriate surgical plan. Dr. Barlow uses various surgical techniques depending upon your specific needs. Incision, and therefore scar, placement will be determined by which technique is to be utilized. During your second consultation, any questions you may still have will be answered and your plan reviewed. The next office visit will be your pre-operative appointment. This will occur approximately two weeks prior to your surgery. Your current health status will be reviewed, Dr. Barlow will complete a pre-operative physical examination and you will receive prescriptions. You will also have the risk, benefits and alternatives to your surgery explained to you. You will then register at the hospital.
The surgery, itself, is typically performed as a day surgery at CHRISTUS St. John Hospital under general anesthesia. When combined with other procedures, you may need to spend the night in the hospital. A brow lift will take approximately two hours to complete. Sutures will be placed to close the incision(s) along or within the hairline. Following the procedure, will be taken to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit to begin the recovery process. After continuing to recover in the Outpatient Surgery Unit, you will be discharged home. You will need to have a responsible individual drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.
Although all surgical procedures have discomfort, most patients find that this procedure is very well tolerated. You will be provided with a prescription for pain medication for your comfort. You may take your first shower on the second day following surgery. Your first office visit is usually the next day. At one week, the sutures or staples are usually removed. You will be seen weekly for the first month, biweekly for the next month and then at four and six months. After that, you will be seen each year for an annual review of your condition. Your post-operative appointment schedule will be given to you at the time of your pre-operative visit.
A variable amount of bruising and swelling can be expected. Bruises may take a few days to appear and may descend down to the eye or cheek areas. Swelling typically improves daily but will likely be noticeable to you for several weeks. Numbness around the incisions is also common and may take months to resolve. As with all invasive procedures, your scars will take time to fade. Scars are not typically considered fully mature for over a year.
You will be restricted from exercising for a month following your surgery. This will allow your body time to recover from the surgery and avoid any unnecessarily prolonged swelling. During the early recovery period, increased activity will often lead to increased swelling.
Dr. Barlow looks forward to meeting with you and discussing your options. Call or e-mail today to schedule your appointment!