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What Is a Brow Lift?

A brow lift—also known as a forehead lift—can often be an excellent option for improving the appearance of deep forehead wrinkles and creases, a sagging brow, frown lines, and various other cosmetic concerns that can affect the appearance of the upper facial area. Fundamentally, a brow lift also has to do with “brow position” relative to the eye and supraorbital rim (bone felt right above the eye). As we age—men and women alike—the brow can “drop” or “fall” with time, which can cause a tired appearance around the eyes. Many times, patients assume it is only their upper eyelids, but the brow and its position are very closely interrelated with the upper eyelids. As a result, the brow and upper eyelids often have to both be addressed “together” for optimal rejuvenation throughout this periorbital area.

Early brow changes are ideally managed with neuromodulators such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, which help “soften” the muscular pull of some of the brow depressor muscles, thereby providing some “lift” to the brow position. When patients require more elevation than can be provided by injections, they may need to discuss surgical brow options. At our practice, Houston plastic surgeon James F. Boynton, MD offers several innovative approaches to brow lift, enabling him to employ the most effective option based on the patient’s unique needs and aesthetic goals. Learn more about brow lift below.

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What Are the Benefits of a Brow Lift?

A brow lift can be performed to resolve numerous concerns associated with a sagging brow. Depending on your specific needs and goals, Dr. Boynton can customize treatment to help:

  • Lift lax, drooping skin on the forehead
  • Smooth deep wrinkles, creases, and folds
  • Diminish furrows located between the eyebrows
  • Elevate the eyebrows to a more natural position
  • Relieve forehead muscle tension

In addition to these benefits, a forehead lift can provide an exceptional aesthetic complement to other facial procedures, such as facelift surgery and eyelid surgery. When performed in conjunction with one another, these treatments can create a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the face that appears very natural.

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Male Brow Lifting vs. Female Brow Lifting

Since male and female eyebrow regions are quite different aesthetically, they have to be analyzed differently. The ideal female brow has a subtle “peak” approximately one-third of the distance from the lateral (outside) extent of the brow and its inner border. Some women use makeup and shaping of the brow hair to accentuate this, as well. In females who have more droopiness to the brow, or even a flatter brow, a lateral subcutaneous brow lift can really “pick up” the brow and further heighten and dramatically improve its appearance with a short office-based procedure.

The male brow is different and has to be addressed in a unique way since men do not ideally have an aesthetic arch to the brow. Their brows can “fall down” just as easily and needs to be approached with an aesthetic eye and complete understanding of the important gender differences with respect to the eyebrow.

What Are My Brow Lift Options?

At our practice, Dr. Boynton offers four different brow lift techniques, each of which can achieve exceptional results for the right individuals. Details about the treatment options are provided below, and Dr. Boynton can help you determine which would be the most effective approach at the time of your consultation.

Lateral Subcutaneous Brow Lift

For the majority of patients, Dr. Boynton conducts a lateral subcutaneous brow lift involving small incisions that are well-concealed in the hairline on either side of the forehead. In addition to addressing the arch and peak of the brow extremely well, this technique allows for the removal of excess, saggy skin of the forehead to help elevate the brow for a rejuvenated appearance. Similar to Dr. Boynton’s short scar facelift, the lateral subcutaneous brow lift is generally performed in-office in less than an hour and does not typically require traditional hospital care, general anesthesia, and/or an overnight stay. Many individuals are quite comfortable with local anesthesia and valium medication for gentle relaxation during their treatment, and they often find that recovery is much simpler and quicker than traditional brow lift methods due to the limited incisions utilized.

Endoscopic Brow Lift

Dr. Boynton has advanced experience with endoscopic brow lift procedures and minimally invasive brow lift/mini-brow lift techniques, which involve several small incisions hidden in the hairline that allow him to “access” the forehead tissues with a small camera (endoscope). The corrugators muscles (that cause the frown lines) are then weakened, and the brow tissues are elevated. This generally heals rapidly, and incisions are well concealed in the hairline. In most instances, the endoscopic brow lift is a much faster recovery than the open traditional brow lift incision that would cross ear to ear over the hairline.

Full Subcutaneous Brow Lift

Some patients have more advanced aging of the forehead and need a “full incision” across the forehead to remove excess skin. The incision is carefully hidden inside the hairline. This allow the most complete management of the entire forehead and brow region. The corrugator muscles are weakened, the excess skin removed, and the brow elevated. Similar to the lateral subcutaneous brow lift, this procedure sometimes can also be done in the office. Traditional coronal brow lifts are still sometimes necessary, but are done under general anesthesia.

BOTOX® Brow Lift

In some patients who may not need a surgical procedure, Dr. Boynton performs frequent “BOTOX® brow lifts,” which can often help to lift and rejuvenate the forehead in a 10 minute, in-office procedure. Performed with BOTOX® Cosmetic (or other similar injectables like Dysport® and XEOMIN®), this non-surgical technique can correct brow asymmetries and reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and creases on the forehead, generally with little to no discomfort and/or downtime. Results typically last approximately three to four months, though this may vary by individual.

Direct Brow Lift (Browpexy)

In rare instances, Dr. Boynton will employ a direct brow lift or browpexy in men experiencing male pattern baldness so as to hide the incision in the brow. This procedure can also be performed in-office and will be discussed in thorough detail for ideal candidates during the initial consultation.

Did You Know?

All brow lifts options (except the endoscopic brow lift, due to advanced video equipment) can be performed in-office with local anesthesia.

What Is Recovery from Brow Lift Like?

Recovery and downtime following a brow lift varies based on the particular technique used, as well as each patient’s natural healing response. Generally speaking, there may be some degree of swelling, bruising, and/or tenderness throughout the forehead region immediately after treatment, though these symptoms are temporary and should diminish with the passage of time. For all brow lift methods (excluding the BOTOX® brow lift), most patients can expect to look and feel well enough to resume daily routines within a few days. Individuals who receive a BOTOX® brow lift, can often normal activities later the same day, if not immediately. Pain is rarely an issue for Dr. Boynton’s patients, but if any discomfort does occur, it can usually be controlled with medication until fully resolved.

How Much Does a Brow Lift Cost?

While the cost of brow lift surgery at our practice often often starts in the $6,000 range and upwards, it’s important to note that, as it is a customizable procedure, brow lift prices vary from patient to patient. Key components that impact the cost of one’s procedure include the extent of concerns being treated, the particular technique employed, the credentials and expertise of the surgeon, where the practice is geographically located, and whether complementary treatments are being performed in combination.

To determine exact pricing, Dr. Boynton will need to perform a thorough evaluation and develop a personalized treatment plan during a consultation at our practice. At this time, he can provide a detailed breakdown of all costs that contribute to the total expense, as well as discuss payment and plastic surgery financing options.

We never want plastic surgery to be out of the reach of an individual for financial reasons, which is why we work with CareCredit®—a respected healthcare lender that offers numerous monthly payment plans that can help make any treatment an affordable reality. If interested, a member of our team can assist you in getting started on the simple application process during your visit.

“Dr. Boynton truly cares about his patients and the work he provides. He and his staff make you feel welcome and relaxed. You are in good hands with Dr. Boynton who strives to give the very best service in the business.”
- Caleb C

How Do I Choose the Best Brow Lift Surgeon for My Needs?

As with any type of surgical procedure, one of the most important steps you will take in the brow lift treatment process is the selection of your surgeon. Narrowing down your choices among experienced plastic surgeons who have the requisite skills and abilities to successfully perform the procedure and meet your expectations requires knowing precisely what to look for and never being hesitant to ask questions. Choosing a surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (like Dr. Boynton) is vital. This distinction is indicative of the surgeon’s high level of training, education, and experience, as well as the doctor’s commitment to safety and high standards of care.

In addition, it is helpful to understand the prospective plastic surgeon’s experience with this particular treatment. For instance: Dr. Boynton is skilled with several different techniques for brow lift surgery, taking into account the patient’s desire for natural-looking results, discreet scars, and minimal recovery time.

The surgeon’s background, credentials, and proficiency with advanced techniques are all important things to consider; however, you should not discount the importance of your general feelings while you are in the presence of the surgeon you are considering. Once you are ready to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon and talk with them about your goals, try to evaluate the overall rapport that is being established. You should feel that the surgeon is attentive to your questions and is being thorough and honest about what you can expect. The treatment process is essentially a partnership between you and the surgeon, and determining whether you feel safe and confident in their care is imperative.

Here are some useful questions to ask your prospective brow lift surgeon:

  • Is the surgery customized for my unique needs?
  • Where will the procedure be performed: here in the office or at an accredited surgery center?
  • Do you provide thorough follow-up care?
  • May I view brow lift before-and-after photos featuring some of your patients?
  • Are there alternative treatments that may offer similar results?
  • What will be the overall cost of the procedure and what are your payment and financing options?

By thoroughly researching your options and meeting with the plastic surgeon in person, you can go a long way toward ensuring you are comfortable and confident that the doctor can meet – or even exceed – your expectations. Please take a look at the biography for Dr. James Boynton for more tips and information on how you can choose the best plastic surgeon for your needs and goals.

Schedule a Brow Lift Consultation

Please contact our practice to schedule a brow lift consultation. Dr. Boynton will be happy to meet with you and talk about all aspects of the procedure.

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