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Brow Lift

What is a Brow Lift?


As we age, we may notice changes in the appearance of our upper eyelids where there appears to be excess skin fold. Frequently, a contributing factor is the descent of the eyebrow which further can exacerbate the skin fold of the upper eyelid. This eyebrow descent most commonly affects the outer part of the eyebrow. To achieve optimal rejuvenation, a patient may benefit from both a brow lift and an upper blepharoplasty. The goal is to create a better contoured eyebrow that compliments the appearance of your upper eyelid retaining a natural aesthetic.

What are the goals of the procedure?

It is a common misconception that a brow lift will create a surprised look. That is certainly not the goal of any brow lifting surgery nor any other surgery of the face. A surprised look is typically due to over-elevation of the inner eyebrow – Dr. Patel makes every attempt to avoid this. The benefits of a brow lift include elevating sagging eyebrows, improving hooding of the eyelids and softening the wrinkles of the forehead. In addition, a subtle lift of the brow can result in tremendous improvement in the sensation of heaviness around the eyelids and eyebrows.


There are various methods of performing a cosmetic brow lift. Dr. Patel’s preferred method for a cosmetic brow lift is either a pretricheal or gliding browlift.

  1. What is a pretricheal brow lift?
    In a pretricheal brow lift, an incision is made at the hairline to elevate the eyebrows and excess skin is removed. It is a powerful browlift and the ideal candidate often has a longer forehead as this procedure will lower the hairline. In addition, the horizontal forehead lines can often be softened with this procedure.
  2. Gliding brow lift
    The gliding browlift (GBL) was developed recently by well-respected plastic surgeon from Brazil. In this technique, small incisions are made at the hairline to elevate the eyebrow. Once elevated, multiple sutures are passed through the forehead skin to support the eyebrow. These sutures are removed after 48-72h. The lift is more subtle than a pretricheal browlift however the hairline is minimally disturbed.

A brow lift procedure alone often has less bruising and swelling than eyelid surgery. This is due to the fact that the forehead and eyebrow skin is thick, masking much of the bruising and swelling. In eyelid surgery, the skin is so thin that any bruising or swelling will be apparent.

In a brow lift procedure, you should be socially presentable around 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, you may notice redness of the incision line that will subside with time. There should be minimal to no pain with the brow lift procedure during your recovery.

Why choose Dr. Patel?

Dr. Patel has extensive experience performing brow lift procedures. As an eyelid specialist, he understands the impact of the eyebrow position which can have on both the function and appearance of the eyes. He also understands what creates a natural appearing brow lift and will utilize techniques to ensure the surprised look does not occur.


You will have some bruising and swelling that can last up to about 2 weeks before it resolves.  With brow lift procedures, the bruising is often less than with eyelid procedures. For most patients, there should be minimal pain after surgery. In terms of healing, the majority of the healing will be completed in the first few weeks. After that, you may notice the incision appearing red or bumpy and this will soften over a few months.

For patients that have only a modest descent of the eyebrow or are not ready for surgery, a Botox® brow lift may be an ideal solution. In this method, Botox® is injected into the muscles that pull the eyebrow down. By doing this, it allows the muscles that lift the eyebrow to be more effective creating a naturally elevated eyebrow.

In a brow lift procedure, there will be a faint scar at the hairline. This scar is longer in the pretricheal brow lift than in the gliding brow lift. However, the scar should blend well into the hairline where it is not perceptible by anyone but you and your surgeon.

Risks of all surgery include infection, pain, bleeding, and scarring. Most common risks specific to brow lifting include numbness to the forehead and scalp that is typically temporary. Other less common risks include hematoma underneath the forehead skin or slightly more noticeable scar than anticipated. An extremely rare risk is injury to the frontal nerve that can cause the brow to droop. Fortunately, in experienced hands, brow lifting is a fairly safe procedure.

For the first 2 weeks, you want to avoid any strenuous physical activity. Walking is encouraged after a few days and you should be able to drive after a few days as well. You can gently wash your hair after 48-72 hours avoiding any pulling on the incisions.