Have you begun to notice that your eyes look different as you’ve gotten older? Have others? Maybe you’re asked more often than you’d like, “are you ok?” When we think of aging, we may consider how creases and wrinkles make us look older. We usually don’t think about the way changing musculature and skin volume might cause the eyebrows to descend over the eyes. This area of the face is not immune from aging. The various tissue-changes that occur can not only cause the eyebrows to droop but usually also cause the face to take on a certain vibe. That could be tired, angry, sad, or worried. None of these perpetual expressions are appealing to most people. A brow lift could be the ideal solution.
What Happens to the Forehead and Brows?
Aging doesn’t just affect the skin; it affects subcutaneous tissue, muscle, and the very bone structure that gives the face a contoured foundation. When it comes to the upper third of the face, there are multiple muscles at play. One set of muscles pulls the eyebrows upward toward. Another pulls them down and together. Each person makes unique facial expressions throughout their life, which results in a particular pattern of upper face creases. Facial expressions may also dictate which part of the brow line droops. In addition to the weakening and contractions of muscles across the forehead, the eyebrows are affected by thinning skin and the loss of volume in the fat pads that plump all areas of the face.
Lifting the Aging Brow Line
In recent years, Botox has become one of the most popular methods of correcting a sagging brow. Nonsurgical lifts are ideal in some cases but they do have their drawbacks. For more impressive results that last for years, some patients choose a surgical brow lift. There are a few common techniques that a surgeon may use.
A coronal brow lift accesses muscle and other tissue through an “open” incision. This runs from ear to ear across the top of the head. The incision sits behind the hair line, where the resulting scar cannot be seen. After making the incision, the surgeon lifts the skin and repositions muscle and fatty tissue to correct laxity. The skin is draped so that the eyebrows sit appropriately along the upper orbital rim, the bony ridge over the eye. Skin is trimmed and incisions are closed.
An endoscopic brow lift is performed through multiple small incisions, also hidden behind the hair line. Through one incision, the surgeon inserts a tube with a camera on the end. This endoscope provides visualization of the surgical field. Through other incisions, tiny instruments are inserted. These reposition muscle and other tissue to correct brow ptosis. Incisions are closed with stitches.