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Patient information — Browlift

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Brow lifts most frequently take place at the same time as an eyelid lift. If you are having both procedures, you should also look at the patient information under Eyelid lift/eyebag removal.

Before the operation

Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen-type medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) for approximately two weeks before surgery, as this can increase any tendency to bruise.

It is advisable to stop smoking at least three weeks before surgery and not to smoke until at least two weeks after wounds are fully healed. Nicotine closes the blood vessels responsible for bringing oxygenated blood – vital for healing – to the tissues. Oxygen also fights infection and helps to keep tissue alive, as well as being instrumental in delivering important medications like antibiotics. Smoking clogs the lungs and therefore increases risk of pulmonary infections, such as pneumonia.

On the day of surgery

If you are having a local anaesthetic, dress casually, wearing slip-on shoes and a top that buttons down the front.

In all cases:

  • Do not wear jewellery
  • Thoroughly wash your face
  • Don’t wear make-up
  • No contact lenses
  • Discuss your oral medications with Mr Malhotra – they can usually be taken with a sip of water

If your operation is scheduled for the morning:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after 12 midnight the previous night – do not have breakfast.

If your operation is scheduled for the afternoon:

  • Have an early, light breakfast – do not eat or drink anything after 7.30am.

After surgery

Swelling and bruising may seem to be worse the day after surgery and the discolouration may run down your face from your cheeks to your chin. Both are normal and will soon fade.

  • 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.


  • Ensure that someone takes you home and stays with you for at least 24 hours.
  • Rest quietly all day after surgery.
  • Watch television if you want.
  • Within two hours of surgery, begin taking paracetamol tablets every four hours for 48 hours, even if you seem to have no discomfort. Do not wake yourself up in the middle of the night to take paracetamol – if you do wake up, take two tablets to help you sleep without discomfort.
  • Take two paracetamol tablets as soon as you wake in the morning – take two more every four hours.
  • Be sure to follow instructions about other pain or anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Sleep propped up on two or three pillows to keep your head elevated.
  • Resume taking any medications your normally use, in your regular routine immediately after surgery.


  • Drive immediately after surgery – before you start driving again, check that you can see a number plate clearly at 20 metres, which is a legal requirement.
  • Stay in bed unless you want to – a comfortable armchair is okay.
  • Take a shower or a bath for the first day – have a sponge bath instead, if necessary.
  • Have hot drinks or hot food immediately after surgery and until the following day.
  • Try to bend over much for the first two days after surgery.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo or get soap into the incisions for the first week.
  • Do any heavy work, lifting, running, gym work-outs or swimming for four weeks – check with Mr Malhotra before resuming any exercise schedule.


Paracetamol: Take two 500mg tablets every four hours for 48 hours while awake.

Oral Antibiotics: You may be prescribed oral antibiotics, such as Augmentin (co-Amoxiclav) tablets. Take them the following day after surgery, three times a day for seven days. Oral antibiotics are only prescribed in selected cases and not following routine eyelid surgery.

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