A brow lift is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Jessica Kulak is a fellowship-trained and board certified aging face specialist who regularly performs brow lifts in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
A brow lift, which is also known as a forehead lift, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the appearance of forehead lines and wrinkles as well as a drooping brow. During the brow lift procedure, Dr. Kulak smooths wrinkles and elevates the eyebrows to revitalize the forehead area and restore a more youthful appearance. Dr. Kulak performs brow lifts as a single procedure or in combination with other procedures, such as a facelift or eyelid lift. Good candidates for the brow lift include patients who want to improve the appearance of forehead lines, frown lines, and/or a drooping brow. Patients who choose to have their brow lift performed by Dr. Kulak can look forward to natural-looking and long-lasting results.
The brow lift Procedure
Dr. Kulak performs brow lifts at INOVA system hospitals, which include Fair Oaks Hospital, Reston Surgery Center, and Suburban Outpatient Surgical Center. The outpatient procedure usually takes 1-2 hours to complete and may be performed with MAC (monitored anesthesia care) or general anesthesia.
There are several different types of brow lift techniques. The individual patient’s needs and aesthetic goals will determine which techniques Dr. Kulak will use.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
The endoscopic brow lift is a procedure that elevates the brow using minimal incisions. The endoscopic technique utilizes 4-5 small (1cm) incisions placed behind the hairline. A specialized camera device known as an endoscopic is used to visualize elevation of the forehead and brow to the desired position. A small fixation device known as an endotine is placed to secure the brow in the elevated position. Over a period of 3-6 months, the endotine will dissolve as the brow and forehead heal and a youthful appearance is restored.
When patients have a high hairline or significant forehead skin laxity, Dr. Kulak modifies the endoscopic brow lift. She shortens the forehead length by removing skin through a hidden incision along the hairline (pre-trichial modification). The benefit of this type of incision is that it is specifically designed to heal with minimal scarring and is well concealed by the hairline.
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Temporal brow lift or Lateral brow lift
Dr. Kulak performs this procedure when a patient only needs minimal elevation of the outer portion of the brow. A temporal brow lift is helpful because it tightens the temple area. This stops the lateral brow from descending and creating deep “crows feet” or periorbital lines that cannot be improved using noninvasive treatment options like Botox.
The procedure is performed through two small incisions that are placed behind the hairline. Patients who undergo the procedure usually experience minimal downtime and recover quickly. Often times, Dr. Kulak will perform the procedure in combination with an upper blepharoplasty or eyelid lift to minimize the incision on the eyelids.
Hidden Incision Brow lift
In balding male patients with deep forehead lines, a brow lift is occasionally performed through a hidden incision that is made through one of the deep forehead lines. Once the incision is made, the muscles above the eyes are incised, thus smoothing frown lines, and the skin is excised to elevate the brow.
A Direct Brow lift
This is a procedure that is occasionally performed on older patients to remove skin directly above the eyebrows. Typically, patients have thick brow hair and the incision used to perform the procedure is well hidden. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Kulak’s office and tends to have minimal downtime.
Brow Lift Recovery
Bruising and swelling are common after a brow lift. Typically, these symptoms will begin to fade within 1-2 weeks. To control swelling, patients are advised to keep their head elevated as much as possible for the first few days after their procedure. Discomfort tends to be minimal with the endoscopic approach, though pain medication can be prescribed if necessary. Bandages may be removed within a day or two. Stitches or staples are usually removed within a week. Most patients can return to work in about a week, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for about two weeks.
Results after Brow Lift surgery
Patients will notice initial results after their surgical bandage is removed. As swelling goes down and healing takes place, results will continue to be seen. It typically takes approximately 3 months for final results to be seen. Results include the following:
- The reduction or elimination of forehead lines and wrinkles
- A raised brow that does not droop or sag
- A natural, youthful, and revitalized forehead
Patients who live a healthy lifestyle and use sun protection can expect long-lasting results. In many cases, results can last up to 10 years.
Good Candidates for Brow Lift
Dr. Kulak regularly performs brow lifts on men and women who want to improve the following:
- Age-related forehead changes
- Forehead wrinkles or lines that cause an angry, tired, or sad appearance
- A drooping brow that has caused impaired vision
Healthy, non-smoking adults with realistic goals and a positive mindset are candidates for the procedure. Usually, patients who have serious medical conditions or illnesses are not candidates.
An initial consultation with Dr. Kulak is an important part of the brow lift process. A consultation is carried out in the following manner:
- Kulak obtains and reviews the patient’s complete medical history.
- Kulak examines the patient’s forehead shape, size, and position. She also analyzes the hairline and facial features.
- Kulak and the patient have a discussion regarding goals and surgical outcomes and options.
Dr. Kulak invites all of her patients to ask any questions or state any concerns that they might have about the procedure. She patiently listens and then answers or addresses them so patients can be at ease when making their final decision. This type of patient-centered approach leads to the patient feeling comfortable and excited about their procedure.
Brow Lift FAQs
How do I know which brow lift procedure will be right for me?
The definitive way to determine which procedure will be right for you is to attend an initial consultation with Dr. Kulak. During your consultation, Dr. Kulak will examine your brow and invite you to discuss your surgical goals. After she has a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve with your procedure, she will choose a procedure that best treats your condition and needs.
Will I look unnatural after my procedure?
No. Dr. Kulak takes great care not to elevate the eyebrows too high to avoid the creation of unnatural appearing brows.
Will I have a noticeable scar after my procedure?
All surgical incisions result in scars. Because Dr. Kulak carefully places incisions along natural skin folds within the hairline, scars from her incisions are not noticeable. In many cases, patients cannot even notice their own scars.
What can I do to maximize my results?
Applying sun protection, regularly exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and not smoking are four measures you can take to maximize your results. Avoiding alcohol in excess is also recommended.
Can I have a brow lift if I have thin hair or am bald?
Yes. Dr. Kulak can use special incision techniques to perform your procedure and hide your surgical incisions and scars.
What procedures can I combine with my brow lift?
A facelift and eyelid lift are commonly combined with a brow lift. If you are interested in these or other procedures, you can discuss all of your treatment options with Dr. Kulak at your initial consultation.
Are their noninvasive treatment options that I can consider?
Botox can sometimes be used to achieve a temporary lift of the brow for 3-4 months. Dr. Kulak can skillfully inject Botox into the muscles around the eyes. This brings down the brow and allows the eyebrows to lift. The result is a more open look to the eyes.
Ultherapy can also provide a noninvasive brow lift. The Ultherapy procedure stimulates collagen production by delivering focused ultrasound energy to the skin’s foundational layer without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. There is no downtime and results are seen approximately 3-6 months after treatment.
Is it possible to see before and after photos of some of Dr. Kulak’s patients who have had a brow lift?
Absolutely! Dr. Kulak can show you pictures of patients who had a condition similar to yours. She will go into great detail while explaining their results and how yours will be similar and different. After you have seen before and after photos of Dr. Kulak’s patients, you will know exactly what to expect after your procedure.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for my initial consultation?
Dr. Kulak advises her patients to think about the reasons why they want a brow lift and what goals they want their procedure to achieve. She also asks patients to bring a list of all the medications or herbal supplements they are taking and/or are allergic to.
What other options other than a surgical brow lift do I have to help elevate my eyebrows?
While a surgical brow lift is the most permanent means to achieve an elevated brow, other less invasive options exist. Botox can be injected in specific areas of the forehead to obtain a non-surgical brow lift, this must be carefully done as in inexperienced hands it is possible to give the patient the “surprised” overly elevated eyebrows. Another great option is Ultherapy. Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to encourage collage production by fibroblast cells and as a result help to lift and tighten the skin. When used on the forehead around the brows, ultherapy can give a patient a subtle brow lift. Additionally, another option is to place a small amout of injectible filler around the brow and temple region to give the allusion of a more lifted look. A consultation with one our surgeons can help determine what your best options are.
How do I schedule my initial consultation?
To schedule your initial brow lift consultation with Dr. Kulak in Chevy Chase, Maryland, or Northern Virginia, please visit our contact page.