Brow lift
(forehead lift, browlift)

One of the first signs of aging is actually the gradual descent of the brow and forehead. The eyebrows begin to hood the eyes, horizontal wrinkles crease the forehead, and vertical "frown lines" begin to form above the nose. For both men and women, the result can be a face that looks not just older, but even tired, angry, or hostile—traits none of us wants to project. Correction of this appearance is typically achieved through various "forehead lift" or "brow lift" procedures (the names are typically used interchangeably).

The purpose of the brow lift is to restore the eyebrows and forehead to a more youthful position and to reduce or eliminate some of the wrinkles and frown lines that have been etched into the forehead as we age. When discussing brow lifts patients often voice concern about looking "over-corrected." Over-correction can create the appearance of being startled or surprised. Dr. Pearson's goal is to create a refreshed, natural look to the brow, never one that gives an "operated" look.

A careful assessment of a patient's brow and forehead usually reveals differences between the two sides, and any surgery will need to take these differences into account. At the consultation, these asymmetries will be pointed out, specific measurements may be made, and the specific features of the upper face will be noted. Most importantly, your goals and motivations will be discussed, to gain a full understanding of your desired outcome and the realistic possibilities of surgery.

Browlifts are often, but not always, done in conjunction with other techniques to rejuvenate the aging face. Commonly recommended with a browlift is an upper eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty) since the two procedures achieve different, but complementary results to produce the maximum improvement in restoring a youthful appearance of the upper face. Often, however, the best results are achieved by performing eyelid surgery and brow surgery as staged procedures a few months apart. A browlift may also be combined with a facelift and neck lift (rhytidectomy) for complete treatment of the face.

With the advances of modern cosmetic facial plastic surgery, several surgical approaches are now available for patients undergoing a brow lift. Dr. David Pearson believes that there is no single correct approach for everyone, and that the chosen approach should be based carefully on the patient's unique anatomy and desires. Dr. Pearson selects his approach from both time-tested open techniques as well as latest endoscopic techniques to provide the best chance for achieving an excellent outcome with the least downtime or discomfort for the patient. With the open techniques, a single incision hidden in the scalp or in the hairline is used to free up and reposition the brow and also precisely weaken the muscles that create unattractive wrinkles. Endoscopic forehead lifting achieves similar results through the use of specialized instruments and video endoscopes inserted through several smaller incisions just behind the hairline. None of these techniques, by the way, requires shaving the hair. Balancing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach is a decision to be made by the patient and Dr. Pearson.

During the consultation these diverse approaches will be discussed in detail. As with any cosmetic surgery, it's important that patients thoroughly discuss specific concerns about their face to make certain that patient and surgeon have a clear, mutual understanding of the intended result. Only then will Dr. Pearson be able to outline what can and cannot be achieved with the surgery.

What happens if I proceed with brow lift (forehead lift)?

If Dr. Pearson feels that you are a good candidate for a brow lift and you feel that results he expects to achieve coincide with your desires, then several things need to be arranged for surgery. Pre-operative photographs, routine lab work, a physical exam and various paperwork need to be completed. A second visit is typically booked shortly before your surgery date. This will allow you time to think over the many things discussed in your initial consultation, and it will allow you time to ask additional questions or address concerns.

Where is brow lift performed?

Dr. Pearson performs most of his surgery at Orange Park Surgery Center or Fleming Island Surgery Center. Both are accredited, state-licensed outpatient surgical facilities. Both locations are just blocks from his office practice (and a conveniently short drive from Jacksonville, Florida). Both facilities offer excellent safety while also providing the privacy and convenience patients desire.

How long does a brow lift take?

Because of the custom nature of the surgery, exact times cannot be given. On average, brow lift surgery may take about two and a half hours, depending on the specific steps your surgery requires. You will receive a better estimate during the consultation.

What should I expect after a brow lift?

Browlifts are usually performed on an outpatient basis. Patients may choose between local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Most patients nowadays prefer to have this type of surgery completely asleep under general anesthesia.

A gauze head-wrap-style dressing is worn for the first one to three days post-op. A small drain tube may or may not be used. If you require a drain, it is typically removed the day after surgery. Initially the upper eyelids are bruised and swollen, but usually there is surprisingly little pain in the eyelids. Some patients will complain of a headache during the first 24-48 hours, so prescription pain medication is provided. Ice-water-soaked pads placed over the eyelids can minimize the eyelid bruising. There is usually little bruising of the forehead itself. Fortunately, bruising fades in approximately two weeks as does most of the swelling. Some subtle swelling may last for a few more weeks, but is mostly noticeable only by the patient and the surgeon. Scars from the incisions slowly fade to near invisibility by about twelve weeks, but are hidden, of course, in the hair.

Although heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for a week or two, patients can resume their normal activities as soon after surgery as they feel able, and can begin enjoying their new appearance.

When are the follow-up visits after a brow lift?

The patient may be re-examined in the clinic the following day to change the head dressing and remove the small drain, if present. Any stitches are removed three or four days later and any surgical staples are usually removed a week to ten days after surgery. Dr. Pearson will discuss with you any variations to this schedule.

Dr. Pearson usually also likes to see patients six weeks, three months, six months and one year after surgery. These are at no charge to you, and more visits may be necessary. Dr. Pearson enjoys seeing patients long-term and yearly follow-up after the first year is welcome, but not essential.

Does my insurance carrier cover brow lifts?

In almost all cases, the patient is responsible for the entire cost of a brow lift. Package pricing exists, however, when a browlift is combined with other cosmetic facial plastic surgery. Call us for more details.

For more information about browlifts/forehead lifts and cosmetic facial plastic surgery here in Orange Park and the greater Jacksonville, Florida area, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page or call to schedule an appointment.

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Pearson,
please call 904-215-7377 or e-mail us.

"Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Why Choose Dr. Pearson?   • More than 13 years in practice   • Mayo Clinic trained & former Mayo staff   • Board-certified in Facial Plastic Surgery   • Our Results!