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Brow lift


You can also read one patient's diary of her treatment in this Patient experience.


The brow and forehead often show the first signs of aging. The skin begins to lose its elasticity. Sun, wind, natural expressions and the pull of gravity all have an effect, resulting in frown lines, wrinkling across the forehead and an increasing heaviness of the eyebrows. Your eyes may also look heavy and tired, as a sagging forehead can contribute to hooding in the upper eyelids.


This tired, angry or sad expression may not reflect how you actually feel. As a result, many people opt for a brow lift, also known as a forehead lift. It is often performed in conjunction with an upper eyelid lift — a blepharoplasty — to reduce excess eyelid skin. In other cases, where patients have always had a low brow, it is possible to improve their appearance with other procedures, such as Botox and fillers.


Even people in their 30s may have faces that look older than their years but the procedure is usually carried out on people aged between 40 and 60. To get an idea of how you might look after a brow lift, put your fingers above your brows and outside the edges of your eyes and gently raise the skin upwards by a centimetre. Mr Malhotra will also ask you to bring in photographs taken when you were younger, so that he can suggest the procedure or combination of procedures that will deliver the best and most natural results.


The primary aim is to achieve a natural rejuvenation — a youthful position and contour of the eyebrows, without the appearance of having had surgery or the surprised look that can come when eyebrows are reset too high on the forehead. To avoid this, Mr Malhotra generally avoids lifting the central forehead region.


Browlift surgery is sometimes covered by health insurance.


"The finished result is very good. The brow lift has given me a better eyebrow arch and I do look a few years younger. It's subtle, though — people who don't know I've had it done haven't realised."


Before browlift and upper eyelid operations


Two weeks after the operations


A few weeks later


The procedure


The small-incision approach to eyebrow elevation has become the procedure of choice for rejuvenation of the upper third of the face in many patients. This minimally-invasive surgery provides an effective, long-lasting, natural-looking lift to the eyelid and eyebrow region.


Surgery is performed using keyhole incisions above the hairline. In some cases, an endoscope — a miniature keyhole camera — allows a smaller incision to be used.


This procedure has many advantages over the traditional placing of incisions directly over the eyebrows or making a large incision along the hairline. These include the absence of any visible scarring, a significantly reduced risk of temporary hair loss, reduced risk of damage to the nerves in the forehead, faster recovery and its suitability for a far greater number of patients.


Mr Malhotra has experience with many brow lift techniques, including fixation devices such as the Endotine forehead fixation device but he now prefers to avoid the need to place any holes in the skull bone, a common practice among some brow lift surgeons.


He will discuss all the options with you so that you can decide on the most appropriate approach.


"The surgery was utterly painless. I couldn't feel anything other than a slight tugging."

What to expect


  • As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites for a successful outcome.
  • You should prepare to be in hospital overnight if you are having a general anaesthetic, although many people have a brow lift as day patients and under local anaesthesia.
  • For 48 hours after surgery, you will wear a tight bandage that helps to keep the forehead in its new position and minimises the accumulation of fluid or bruising around the incision sites — if this causes a headache, it can be loosened.
  • After the bandage is removed, you can rinse your hair with plain water — do not use soap or shampoo that might get into the incisions for the first week.
  • Bruising can move down your face in the first few days — this is normal and will soon fade.
  • Staples in the scalp incisions are removed after two weeks.
  • The most common complication is asymmetry, when one eyebrow is higher than the other — it can be corrected by a second surgical procedure.
  • Some patients experience temporary hair loss along the incision line — hair regrows after three months.
  • Some patients have a numb patch on top of their scalp — feeling can take six to nine months to return and 30 per cent of patients can still identify a small numb patch after a year.
  • Numbness of the forehead is a very rare complication of small incision brow lift surgery and, if it occurs immediately after surgery, usually goes away within six weeks.


All procedures begin with a consultation. For full information about what to do before and after surgery, see Patient information.


You can also read one patient's diary of her treatment in this Patient experience.

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The McIndoe Surgical Centre

The Queen Victoria Hospital

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