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Forehead Lifts (Brow Lifts)
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A surgical procedure designed to make the face appear more youthful by lifting the skin and tissues and/or the underlying muscle of the forehead to make the face tauter and smoother.

Length of Surgery

30 – 90 minutes




General, or local with intravenous sedation

Back to work in...

1 week

Back to the gym in...

2 weeks

Treatment Frequency

Usually once, though revision surgery may be needed (see "Duration of results" below


Bleeding; hematoma; bruising; infection; neurological dysfunction (loss of muscle function or sensation), which is usually temporary; widened or thickened scars; loss of hair around the incision site; build up of fluid around incision sites

Duration of Results

Forehead lift procedures have only been performed since 1995, so the permanence of the procedure is still unknown.

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Click links below for detail.

Forehead lift Surgery Costs*

Forehead lift surgery prices vary widely, depending on the techniques used and whether the patient is having any other procedures done at the same time. Surgeons with the most expertise cost more, and if you are having your forehead lift surgery done in New York, you can expect to pay 50% more.

Forehead lift costs include three fees: the anesthesia fee, the facility fee, and the surgeon's fee. The surgeon's fee is the majority of the cost, and the most difficult to predict without first knowing the extent of the procedure and the qualifications of the face lift surgeon. You should expect to pay between $3,500 and $5,000 for forehead lift surgery.

Most plastic surgeons and surgical clinics offer flexible forehead lift financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.

If you are considering having forehead lift surgery but want to explore more about the financing options available before you make your decision, PLEASE CLICK HERE. You can discuss your financial options with your surgeon, and find out if there are any loans of flexi-payment plans that will allow you to achieve the facial appearance you have always desired.

Am I a candidate for a forehead lift surgery?

You may be a suitable candidate for a forehead lift procedure if you are unhappy with how the aging process is affecting your facial appearance. If you are concerned by any of the following, you could benefit from forehead lift surgery:

  1. Sagging brow
  2. Forehead wrinkling
  3. Deep creases between the eyebrows and on the bridge of the nose
  4. Deep furrows between the eyes
Certain factors affect whether you are a suitable candidate for a face lift procedure:
  1. Do you smoke?
  2. Are you physically and emotionally healthy?
  3. Do you have realistic expectations of what face lift surgery could do for you?
As with any cosmetic surgery, you need to be in good health, physically and emotionally, and have realistic expectations of what the forehead lift surgery can achieve for you. A full consultation with your brow lift surgeon will help you to make the decision about whether forehead lift surgery is for you.

Opting to undergo a forehead lift operation is a highly individual decision and you should do it for yourself, not for someone else.


What is a forehead lift Procedure?

A forehead lift (or brow lift) is the surgical removal of excess fat and skin, and a tightening of the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows or deep furrows between the eyes. It is often done in conjunction with a facelift in order to create a smoother facial appearance overall. With age or excessive sun exposure, wrinkled creased skin can develop on the forehead. Forehead lift surgery cannot stop the aging process, but can improve the overall appearance of the face, making patients look younger.

Forehead lift surgery can make you look younger and fresher by improving the appearance of your face. The results of a forehead lift procedure will be good if you have good skin tone, your skin has not lost its elasticity and moves and stretches easily. Your face is made up of layers of bone, muscle, fascia, fat and skin. During the natural aging process, the muscles lose their tone, and the fascia, (which holds everything together in the face) slackens.

A forehead lift is often performed to treat conditions associated with aging, and is commonly performed on patients between 40 and 60 years of age. However, the forehead lift procedure can also be carried out on younger adults who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress, muscle activity, or inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose. It may be done in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures to achieve a more harmonious facial appearance. A forehead lift is also appropriate for treatment of certain inherited traits. Younger adults who have a low brow or who already have deep frown lines due to stress or over activity of muscles may also benefit from the forehead lift procedure.

Forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with a face lift or eyelid lift surgery.

Forehead lift operations are most commonly performed under a general anesthetic or intravenous sedation and take between 30 and 90 minutes to perform. You are likely to stay in hospital for one night.

The forehead lift procedure can be performed by making a long incision either in front of or behind the hairline, above the ears. The incision is designed to be inconspicuous when healed. Through the forehead lift incision, the plastic surgeon can modify or remove parts of the muscles that cause wrinkling and frown lines, remove excess skin, and lift your eyebrows to a more aesthetically pleasing level. The skin and deeper layers are then fixed to the bone. The results are a tightening of soft tissues of the forehead to restore a more youthful contour to the upper face. This is called the coronal brow lift. Occasionally, incisions may be performed in the forehead, and/ or the upper eyelids.

Another forehead lift procedure technique uses an endoscope, a long, thin tube with a light on the end, attached to a video camera. The endoscope is inserted through four to six tiny incisions in the scalp and through these incisions the brow lift surgeon can see and work on the internal structures of the forehead. The endoscopic technique has the advantage of requiring very minimal incisions, but it may not be equally beneficial for all patients.

Some forehead lift patients may benefit from a combination of endoscopic and other techniques.

If your main concern is frown lines between your eyebrows or across the top of your nose, a limited endoscopic brow lift procedure to correct these problems can be performed.

If you smoke, you will be asked to stop at least two weeks before the face lift surgery, as smoking impairs the healing process. If you are overweight, your surgeon will advise you to lose weight prior to the forehead lift surgery. Patients must also avoid taking painkillers containing aspirin two weeks before the forehead lift procedure, as aspirin interferes with blood clotting.

There will be some discomfort following surgery and you can expect to feel swollen, bruised and numb for a few days afterwards.

Forehead Lift Surgery Procedure Steps

Step 1 - Anesthesia

  1. The anesthetic choices for brow lift surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your forehead lift surgeon will recommend the best choice for you. You will be given a relaxant in the form of a tablet, followed by an injection containing antibiotic and an anaesthetic, and then finally a local anaesthetic. For your safety during and after the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
Step 2 - The incision
  1. Endoscopic brow lift – four to six small incisions are made within the hairline and an endoscope with a light and camera on the end and special instruments are inserted through these cuts. This allows the brow lift surgeon to reposition, alter or remove the tissue and muscle beneath the skin to correct the source of visible creases and furrows in the forehead.
  2. Correction of a low-positioned or sagging brow may be made with or without the use of an endoscope through incisions at the temples and in the scalp. This technique may be done in conjunction with incisions hidden within the natural crease of the upper eyelids to eliminate frown lines between the brows, and on or above the bridge of the nose.
  3. Coronal brow lift - the incision is made across the top of your head or behind the hairline, from ear to ear. Through this incision, your surgeon can alter the muscles that cause horizontal forehead wrinkles and scowling. The forehead lift surgeon will remove a 1-2 cm strip of scalp and sew the remaining scalp together. The advantages of this technique are that it is lasting (it will not have to be repeated as you age, with very rare exceptions). Also, the scars are concealed behind the hairline and cannot be seen after they heal. Recovery time is often longer than the endoscopic brow lift due to the size of the incision.
Step 3 - Closing the incisions
  1. Brow lift incisions are typically closed with removable or absorbable sutures, skin adhesives, surgical tape and/or special clips.
Step 3 - The results
  1. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into the recovery area. A bandage may be wrapped around your forehead or face. Sometimes small drains will be inserted beneath the skin to drain excess fluid. You should experience very little discomfort after forehead lift surgery. Any discomfort you do feel will be controlled with pain medication as needed.
  2. You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients may stay overnight in a hospital or surgical facility.
  3. The results of your forehead lift will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal smoother forehead skin and a more youthful, rested appearance.
  4. The effects of brow lift surgery can be maintained by the use of permanent sutures, small surgical screws, or an absorbable fixation device placed inconspicuously at the temples.


Forehead lift Surgery Recovery and Healing Steps

Forehead lift recovery times vary from patient to patient, and smokers take longer to heal. You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort as the anesthetic wears off. Your forehead lift surgeon will prescribe painkillers for the first few days post-op.

You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home when you are ready to go. You should try to have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours. Your nurse will give you some advice about caring for your healing wounds and a date for a follow-up appointment before you leave the hospital or surgeon’s office.

You will experience some swelling and bruising in the 10-14 day period following brow lift surgery. In some patients, this condition may include the cheek and eye area as well as the forehead. You may develop black eyes temporarily.

Keeping your head elevated, including sleeping propped up on pillows, and using cold compresses will help to reduce swelling.

As the incisions heal, you may experience some numbness and itching, but these will subside with time. The sutures are usually removed within seven to 10 days following surgery, or will dissolve on their own. If bandages have been used, they are removed in one to three days.

For most patients, the recovery time will not exceed two weeks, but patients may still be advised to avoid strenuous activities for longer periods. Be sure to follow the advice of your brow lift surgeon on resuming normal activities.

Rest as much as possible in the first week following your forehead lift surgery, and keep your incision sites as dry as possible.

Your forehead lift surgeon or nurse will give you a check list and a precautions list for your recovery. If you experience discomfort, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pains or fever after the surgery, you must seek medical attention ASAP.

Healing will continue for several weeks as the swelling dissipates and incision lines refine and fade and it may take several months for you to completely recover and see the final results of your forehead lift.

Forehead lift surgery Side Effects and Surgery Risks

When a forehead lift procedure is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Surgical forehead lifts are commonly performed and generally safe. The possibility of forehead lift risks and complications arising depends on each patient‘s anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities. As with any surgery, the outcome is not predictable.

Side effects as a result of forehead lift surgery are inevitable though they will vary from patient to patient, as with any surgical procedure. These are common forehead lift side effects:

  1. Soreness, swelling and bruising - this can last up to a month
  2. Scarring - this usually fades over the course of a year, but won't completely disappear
  3. Raised hairline in front of, and behind, your ears
Possible complications associated with forehead lift surgeries may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Unfavorable scarring – this is rare, but can be treated surgically by removing the wide scar tissue and allowing a new, thinner scar to appear.
  2. Nerve damage - injury to the nerves that control movement of the eyebrows is rare, but it can cause the loss of ability to control the eyebrows or wrinkle the forehead. Surgery may be necessary to correct this problem.
  3. Loss of sensation – this numbness is usually temporary, but it can be permanent.
  4. Complications during the brow lift procedure - during the endoscopic forehead lift, there is a slight chance of complications arising causing the surgeon to switch techniques and proceed with the classic forehead lift. This can result in a more extensive scar and a longer recovery period.
  5. Hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin)
  6. Infection
  7. Poor wound healing
  8. Skin loss
  9. Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  10. Persistent pain
  11. Skin contour irregularities
  12. Skin discoloration, sensitivity or swelling
  13. Unsatisfactory l scar location
  14. Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  15. Possibility of revision surgery
It's possible that you may not be completely satisfied with your appearance after the operation.

You can help to minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions given to you by your forehead lift surgeon both before and after surgery.

The exact risks are specific to you and differ for every person, so if you have any concerns or worries about the forehead lift procedure and the risks and side effects involved, ask your forehead lift surgeon to explain how they may apply to you.


Questions to Ask a Surgeon about a forehead lift procedure

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about forehead lift surgery. Here is an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself Surgeon.

  1. Am I a good candidate for forehead lift surgery?
  2. Are my described expectations realistic?
  3. Where is the surgery performed?
  4. How long will the procedure take?
  5. What kind of anesthesia is used?
  6. What is your experience in performing forehead lift surgery?
  7. Can I see your qualifications?
  8. Ask to see any before and after photographs of recent forehead lift surgeries
  9. What percentages of your forehead lift patients have had significant post-surgical complications? (surgeons should disclose this information to you)
  10. Who will be assisting my surgery? Can I see their qualifications?
  11. How much will my forehead lift cost?
  12. Do you offer patient financing? (Flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
  13. Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
  14. Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
  15. What is the recovery and healing period for forehead lift surgery? When can I resume full normal activity?
  16. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended?
  17. Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)


Surgeon Checklist

Surgeon Checklist

Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Forehead lifts (Brow Lifts) procedures; click here for an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself plastic surgeon.

Most popular procedures on Perfect Yourself: liposuction, breast augmentation, face lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks
Be sure to also visit our Expert Advice page where you can find great questions from real visitors, Answered by real plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and skin rejuvenation specialists.