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Brow Lift Basics

As we age, our skin’s elasticity tends to fade, resulting in the sagging of skin and surrounding tissue.  In this case, it results in the eyebrows descending lower on the forehead, which gives a tired and heavy look.  Brow lifts are performed to raise eyebrows, restoring a youthful and freshened appearance.

Many facial plastic surgeons make the mistake of addressing the upper eyelids (blepharoplasty), when in fact the problem is low-lying eyebrows.  An experienced facial plastic surgeon will easily guide you in the right direction. 

Brow lifts can be performed through various techniques.  Dr. Ashbach will discuss the options with you after your assessment, and make the recommendation that best fits your appearance and goals. 

Preparing for your brow lift

The goals of preparation are to minimize the risk of complications, bruising, and to expedite your healing process. 

Two weeks prior to surgery, stop taking agents that can impede your body’s ability to clot.  Do not take products containing aspirin, ibuprofen (ex. Advil, Motrin), or Vitamin E.  Tylenol is okay to take.  If you take Coumadin, Plavix or other prescription medications to prevent clotting, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Ashbach. 

You should also not smoke for at least two weeks prior to surgery.  Other products that contain nicotine, such as ‘the patch’ or nicotine gum, should also be avoided. These all tend to impede the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

One week prior to surgery, it is advised that you do not drink alcohol, as it also contributes to additional bleeding.  If you color or perm your hair, hold off for one week prior to surgery and for three weeks after surgery.

On the day of surgery, make plans for someone to drive you to and from the surgery location.  You can shower and shampoo as you normally would.  Avoid putting on makeup or hair products this day.  Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.  If you need to take medications, do so on the morning of surgery with a sip of water.

Post-Operative Brow Lift Instructions

Most people go home within 1-2 hours after surgery.  You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night.  When you get home, head directly to the couch or a recliner and place a cold pack on your forehead.  Try to rest and sleep propped up with 2 - 3 pillows during the first week after your surgery to help reduce any swelling and bruising.

You may experience swelling and bruising around the eyes.  This is quite normal and will gradually go down over the next two weeks.  Using cold compresses over the forehead can be very soothing and will help with the bruising and swelling. You should not use ice directly on the face as it can damage the skin; place it in a clean cloth first.  Strenuous exercise or anything that is likely to increase your blood pressure or pulse should not be resumed for 3 weeks.

Keep the suture area clean and moist with Vaseline or Aquaphor. You can use a Q-tip or cotton applicator with some warm water to carefully remove any crusting from around the sutures.  If you are prone to constipation, or the painkillers are making you constipated, you should use laxatives to avoid having to strain for at least the first week.

You may be discharged with some antibiotics, and it is important that you complete the course. Please avoid taking aspirin/anti inflammatory tablets for ten days, as these can cause bleeding. You may recommence your usual medication as soon as you can eat or drink unless otherwise advise.

You can shower two days after surgery.  Avoid shampoo or other hair products for the first five days, and don’t scrub your forehead with a washcloth. It could disrupt the sutures and healing process.  You can lightly dab the incision line as needed.  When you get out of the shower, remember to reapply Vaseline or Aquaphor to the suture line. Your forehead and top of your head will likely be numb postoperatively. This will gradually resolve over many weeks or months.  Use low heat when using hair dryers and curling irons so you do not accidentally burn yourself.

Your sutures will normally be removed around seven days after surgery.  Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.


When to call

Call our office at 425-259-9999 or 425-791-3093 if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Fever of 101 degrees F or greater. 
  • Pain not relieved with pain medication. 
  • Swelling, redness, bleeding, and/or foul drainage from incision area.
  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Bleeding/oozing from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
  • If you have loss of feeling or motion.
  • Any other concerns.

If you are ready to explore this procedure, call our office and set up a consultation.