A heavy eyebrow or forehead can be a sign of age, but is not always directly related to the aging process. Some people are born with thicker or more pronounced soft tissues of the forehead. Regardless of the cause, a heavy brow can give the appearance of anger, frustration, or sadness – even when you’re feeling great. In addition, the full brow can push down on the upper eyelids, making you look tired or drowsy. (This heaviness on the outside of the eyelid area is called lateral hooding.) Finally, the shadow cast by the brow can detract from the brightness or openness of your eyes, again giving an impression that is different than how you feel.
In many cases, Dr. Ransom can address these specific concerns with a minimally-invasive endoscopic browlift (forehead lift). However, certain circumstances demand a different approach – and Dr. Ransom is a specialist in all types of brow and forehead surgery. For patients with an asymmetric brow (one side obviously higher than the other), or in cases of facial paralysis (where one side of the forehead doesn’t move), an open treatment of the forehead helps to achieve the best results. In women with a high hairline or tall forehead, an open approach may allow for hairline lowering or reduction of excess forehead skin, using an incision placed in the hairline (pretrichial browlift). For men with significant hair loss and a heavy brow, a variety of approaches can be used to elevate the brows without elevating the hairline or leaving obvious, unsightly scars in the scalp – ensuring natural-appearing results. For more information, see the Procedures for Men section.
Brow or forehead lifts, regardless of approach, can be combined with other facial rejuvenation or reconstructive procedures, and are particularly effective when the eyelids are addressed at the same time. Please visit the photo gallery for some examples.
Who is a candidate?
Anyone with a heavy brow, deep glabellar rhytids (the “11’s” between the eyebrows), and particularly patients with lateral hooding of the upper eyelids (see above) is a candidate. Special consideration is needed for men who are bald or have significantly receding hairlines (please visit the Procedures for Men section). Upper eyelid ptosis (upper lids do not open all the way) should not be confused with lateral hooding; this issue has to do with the muscles that retract the upper eyelid, rather than excess eyelid skin or a heavy brow region. Comprehensive rejuvenation of the entire forehead, brow, and eyelid complex can be discussed with Dr. Ransom at your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the recovery like after a browlift?
A: For the first night after the procedure, patients wear a soft cotton dressing. Bruising and swelling peak on day two, and then decrease steadily. This typically takes about a week, but may be faster or slower for some patients. Depending on the approach used, incisions may require minimal daily care. Sutures are then removed a week after the procedure. Keeping the head elevated is very helpful for the first few days.
Q: Will a browlift change the shape of my eyes?
A: Having a browlift will not change the shape of the eyes. In the first few days after surgery, when the area is still swollen, the eyes will look puffy and it may be difficult to see their exact shape. However, after healing, the desired effect of a browlift is seen – a more open appearance of the eyes from elevation of the heavy brow tissue and a smoother forehead contour.
Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.