The brow's relationship to the face

Signs of aging may be difficult to notice on a daily basis. Some age-related changes are subtle, while some are more notable. The brow has a subtle yet powerful role in expression, communication, and even self-perception, making one look and feel older due to a change in expression. Aging in the area of the brow can begin early in life due to the effects of gravity, collagen loss, and thinning skin and muscle, leading to brow descent. This can lead to a closed-off, tired, or at times unpleasant heaviness to the eyes and upper part of the face. This may cause people to feel self-conscious or compromise first impressions amongst others, projecting a downtrodden expression. 

Fortunately, a brow lift is a straightforward, refreshing surgical option to elevate the brow to a more natural, youthful position and improve the appearance around the eyes, restoring brightness to the upper face. 

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What is a brow lift?

A brow lift is a surgical procedure performed with the goal of lifting and elevating the brow, restoring it to a more youthful position in the upper third of the face. Over the years, due to age, skin and muscle thin and weaken, in turn leading to a loss of support for the brows and the area around the eyes. The forehead may start to feel heavy, and the brows may feel effortful and as if they are closing in around the eyes. A brow lift physically lifts the skin, muscle, and internal portions of the brow complex for a refreshed, lightened, well-rested appearance to the eyes. 

Incisions and extent of recovery are dependent on which type of brow lift procedure is utilized. There are several techniques and approaches to rejuvenating the brow, each with specific advantages and indications.  One approach is to use an endoscope and special instruments, which are placed through small incisions along the hairline to correct creases and lines in the forehead. Another approach is through a coronal incision, made ear to ear along the top of the head. A more contemporary approach, and a favorite of Dr. Moses’s, is the lateral temporal lift, which addresses the portion of the brow most commonly and most notably implicated in facial aging. Irrespective of the technique utilized, the incisions are generally camouflaged within the hairline, virtually indiscernible once healed. In all procedures, the skin is lifted, and muscles are adjusted to correct wrinkles and lines in the brow. 

Benefits of a Brow Lift

Brow lifts are predominantly performed for cosmetic concerns. The expression often changes with age, and the area composed of the eyes and brow is paramount in a range of expressions. As the brow descends with age, it may lead to an unintended look of one being angry, tired, worried, or sad, even when they are not. As a result, people are often self-conscious and disconcerted by the suggestion that their appearance does not reflect their actual mood or age. 

A brow lift will brighten the area around the eye and restore a gentle facial expression. It also can help to restore confidence during first impressions and social situations. 

Candidates for Brow Lift

Patients interested in a brow lift procedure should be healthy adults who do not smoke and are not taking blood thinners. Patients should have evidence of drooping of the brow that is disrupting the aesthetics and balance of the face. It is critical that patients have realistic expectations for the results—improvement, not perfection. 

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What to expect

The first step of this process is scheduling a private consultation with Dr. Moses. Be prepared to talk about your:

  • Goals
  • Medical history
  • Any medications or supplements you may be taking

With this information, she will evaluate your health, discuss your options, and develop a treatment plan that best achieves your desired results based on your personal needs and wants and her professional recommendations.

Your surgical appointment

Given the differences in techniques implicated, as well as if the brow lift is being combined with other surgical procedures, the surgical process can vary. Typically, general anesthesia (if performed concurrently with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as blepharoplasty or facelift) or local anesthesia with IV sedation are used during the procedure. The incisions are made in a location where they can be hidden by the hair. The size and location of the incision depend on the technique. 

Once the incisions are made, Dr. Moses will tighten the muscle and overlying skin in the forehead, elevating the brow but maintaining a natural appearance. The incisions are then closed once the desired brow position has been achieved. Brow lift or forehead lift is almost always performed on an outpatient basis, with patients returning home shortly after completion of the surgery.

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Recovery after a brow lift

After your brow lift surgery, you will rest in our recovery room until it is time for you to be picked up and sent home. Dr. Moses will provide instructions on how to care for yourself throughout the healing process, and you’ll have a follow-up appointment scheduled to monitor your progress.

1 to 2 days after surgery:

You may experience some swelling and bruising, which will begin to dissipate after a few days. To reduce swelling, you may require a drain tube.

A week after surgery:

You will likely still have some swelling or bruising in the eye area. At this point, you may also shower and wash your hair with a soap that Dr. Moses recommends. 

A few weeks after surgery:

You can resume your usual activities and exercise routines. All swelling should dissipate at this stage.

6 to 8 weeks after surgery:

You will see the final results of your brow lift surgery.

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Follow-up care

Follow-up care is crucial for the success of any surgical procedure. In addition to keeping to your appointments with Dr. Moses, you should also take care of yourself when you are at home:

  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatories and aspirin within the first couple of days after your procedure
  • Take it easy and avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and sex for the first few weeks of recovery
  • Although you should avoid vigorous exercise, it is helpful to take short walks to assist with circulation
  • If you are a smoker, you should have temporarily quit before your surgery, and you should continue to avoid smoking as this will affect the recovery process.


It takes time to heal from a brow lift surgery, and the final results will take several weeks before they become apparent. That said, you will see immediate results throughout your recovery. These results can last a lifetime if you:

  • Continue to care for yourself properly
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Generally, lead a healthy lifestyle
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Brow lift vs. other treatments

    By relaxing the facial muscles, BOTOX temporarily corrects wrinkles, fine lines, and creases. 
  • Juvéderm
    Juvéderm is an injectable filler that can restore volume to the face, giving it a more youthful appearance.
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Combination face rejuvenation treatments

To rejuvenate your entire face, there are other procedures and treatments you can combine with your brow lift, including:

Discuss your options with Dr. Moses; she will help assess which procedures are best for you.

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Let the team at Palmetto Facial Plastics care for you

Dr. Helen Moses at Palmetto Facial Plastics in Columbia, SC, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained physician with extensive experience in both cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical facial rejuvenation procedures. We are committed to providing the most positive patient experience in private, aesthetic surroundings where you feel heard and understood and can achieve your personal aesthetic goals. Over her years in practice, Dr. Moses has established relationships with her many loyal patients. They trust her to achieve natural results that are never overdone-just refreshed, youthful, and beautiful. This results from her meticulous attention to detail and using the most refined techniques. Contact us today to schedule your consultation if you are considering a brow lift.

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