The upper areas of the face have come into the limelight in the last year and a half. With many people wearing masks when they go out of the home, we’ve become much more aware of how our eyes affect our appearance. Problems like undereye bags make us look tired. Issues with the upper eyelids, such as hooding and heaviness, can make us appear sad or angry. The upper eye area is influenced not only by thinning eyelid tissue but also by the position of the eyebrows on the forehead. This is why a plastic surgeon may recommend a brow lift instead of an eyelid lift. Some of our patients choose a combination of the two.
A brow lift focuses on lifting and repositioning the tissue on the forehead. The procedure can release the muscles that form frown lines and place the brow line back along the upper orbital rim, where it belongs. This procedure smoothes horizontal forehead lines and can also improve the symmetry of the eyebrows. Here, we discuss what patients often want to know about this procedure, what it’s like to recover from a brow lift.
Brow Lift Recovery
Fortunately, the majority of patients who have a brow lift experience very little postoperative pain. The recovery timeframe is 10 to 14 days, but patients can expect comfort to improve significantly within the first week. Patients are advised to set aside the first two days after their brow lift to simply rest and sleep as much as needed. The procedure may be performed with general anesthesia or a local anesthetic and sedation. If general anesthesia is involved, nausea may occur during the early postop phase. The surgical team may be able to recommend an antinausea medication to ease this side effect. A light dressing is placed over the brow area after surgery. Sometimes, the surgeon will place a drain tube to prevent the buildup of excess fluid beneath the skin. These are usually removed in a day or two. Pain is usually minimal after the effects of anesthesia wear off. Patients can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen to manage their comfort.
After brow lift surgery, patients should sleep with the head elevated on two or more pillows. It may be helpful to sleep in a recliner with soft pillows on each side and a neck pillow for support. Elevation helps fluid drain more efficiently away from the surgical site, so can keep swelling and bruising to a minimum. It is possible to shower and wash hair beginning two to three days after surgery. Knowing this, patients should bathe and wash their hair the day before surgery. Strenuous activity must be avoided for a few weeks. The doctor can discuss when normal activities can resume during the post-op visit. This usually occurs about one week after surgery. For the most part, patients generally return to work after two weeks and gradually ease into exercise and other activities three to four weeks post-op.
Some degree of residual swelling and bruising may remain after two weeks. This is typically mild enough to cover with makeup. The final outcome of the brow lift continues to settle in for two to three months. However, patients enjoy beautiful results well before that time.
Learn more about brow lift surgery and what it can do for you. Contact our Cincinnati office at 513.985.0850 for a consultation with Dr. Donna Krummen.