Browlifts may be performed in one of two ways: with conventional methods, in which the incision is hidden beneath the hairline (for patients with thinning or receding hair, who are bald or who have had previous surgery in the area, the incision will likely be moved somewhere less conspicuous); or with an endoscope, in which a tiny camera and instruments are inserted through a few small incisions; both techniques produce similar results.
Traditional browlift: The patient’s hair is tied back near the incision site and then Dr. Dufresne makes a coronal (headphone-shaped) incision behind the hairline, stretching between the ears and across the top of the forehead. The incision may be placed further back or made along the skull bone joints to minimize visibility in patients with thinning hair or who are bald. Then the forehead skin is lifted, tissue is removed, muscles are adjusted and the eyebrows may be lifted. Excess skin is trimmed and the incision is closed with stitches or clips. Then the stitches will be protected with gauze or bandages. Traditional-surgery patients may experience some numbness and discomfort at the incision. Numbness could be replaced by itching, which will subside within six months. Your head may need to be elevated for two to three days to reduce swelling. Bandages are removed in one to two days, and stitches or clips are taken out in two weeks. Hair near the incision may fall out or thin, but normal growth should return within weeks or a few months.
Endoscopic browlift: After the hair is tied as with the traditional procedure, Dr. Dufresne makes three to five short incisions behind the hairline. The endoscope is placed in one so the doctor can see beneath the skin without having to make a large incision, while he lifts the skin and adjusts muscles through the other incisions. If the eyebrows are lifted they will be stitched or screwed (temporarily) into place. Then the stitches will be protected with gauze or bandages. Endoscopic surgery patients may experience some numbness, discomfort and swelling around the incisions, though there is less itching than with traditional surgery. Stitches or staples are removed in a week; temporary fixation screws are taken out within two.
With both procedures, you will be on your feet and able to wash your hair in a day or two, and many patients return to work or school in 7-10 days or less. Swelling and bruising should fade by the third week.
For questions that are frequently asked about facial procedures, please click here.
Craig R. Dufresne, M.D., F.A.C.S. is conveniently located to serve Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County