Brow lift

A forehead or brow lift may contribute to rejuvenation of the face and aims to reduce the frown lines and forehead lines. Injections with Botulinum toxin ( Botox™ or Vistabel™) reduce the need for this procedure. If it is indicated, your surgeon will discuss its merits at your consultation.

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    Preparation for surgery

    Wash your hair the night before your operation, remove old makeup and avoid wearing any on the day. As with all cosmetic plastic surgery, take careful heed of all the recommendations given to you by your surgeon


    Depending upon the area to be treated, between three and five small incisions or cuts are made within the hair of the scalp and this allows your surgeon to partly remove or loosen those muscles responsible for forming the frown lines and forehead creases using specialised instruments. Your surgeon has a clear view of the area of the operation via a thin flexible fibre-optic tube equipped with a tiny camera called an endoscope. With the forehead skin now separated from the skull bone, the eyebrows can be lifted and the creases smoothed. It is then held in position by sutures or dissolving “tacks” until healing occurs. This is the same movement you can make with your fingers pressed on your forehead skin.


    You will be in hospital for 1 – 2 nights and you will have bandages around your head for a minimum of two days. You can gently wash your hair with water after the bandage is removed and with mild shampoo three days later. Avoid rubbing the wound sites with your hands or the towel. Hair dyes should not be used for several weeks.

    After 10 – 14 days, the wounds will have healed sufficiently and any non-dissolvable sutures or staples will have been removed at your outpatient appointment. Minor swelling and bruising can now be concealed with camouflage make-up. You may be able to feel the ends of any dissolvable fixation tacks, but these will go eventually. Once any visible wounds have healed, sun block should be applied over the forehead every day for the next year.


    You may develop puffiness of the eyelids, which can last for 48 hours. In some instances, if this swelling is severe, you may experience difficulty in opening your eyes for the first 24 hours. Your forehead may also swell. Most of the swelling will settle within two to three weeks and this can be helped by adopting an upright posture for the first four days and nights and avoiding bending where possible. There will also be bruising of the forehead which will last approximately three weeks.

    Depending upon your occupation, you may consider returning to work after two weeks. Driving should also be avoided after the operation and may also be resumed at this time.

    For the first six weeks avoid strenuous exercise which includes jogging, repeated bending, heavy housework or any other activity which might increase your blood pressure. This would increase the risk of bleeding and swelling.


    Once all the bruising and swelling from the forehead lift has settled, you can look forward to a smoother forehead, reduced frown lines and a more youthful appearance and position of the eyebrows. The eyelids may also benefit from elevated brows.

    While you can be assured of the experience and detailed attention of your surgeon and team, it is impossible with all surgery of this type to quantify the benefit or to guarantee the outcome.


    You may experience some numbness and/or reduced movement of the forehead which usually settles in a few weeks. This may be due to bruising of the temporal branch of the facial nerve which is vulnerable in this procedure with a rare risk of permanent damage.

    Temporary hair loss around the scalp incisions can sometimes occur and will take several months to regrow.

    Provided that you observe the advice given, the risks of wound infection, delayed healing and skin loss are very low. These would exacerbate the risk of lumpy scars which can remain raised for up to 18 months.