A forehead lift is a surgical procedure to correct sagging of the forehead skin, eyebrows, and the upper eyelids.
Who is qualified?
This procedure is most commonly done on people in their 40s-60s to slow the visible effects of aging. It can also help people with inherited conditions, such as furrowed lines above the nose or a droopy eyebrow. A good candidate for a forehead lift has one or more of the following:
- Deep furrows between the eyes
- Horizontal wrinkles on the forehead
- Nose that does not function properly
- Sagging brows
- Tissue that hangs down at the outer part of the eyelids
Surgery: A forehead lift removes or alters the muscles and skin that cause visible signs of aging such as drooping eyebrows, “hooding” eyelids, forehead furrows, and frown lines. The surgery may be done alone or with other procedures such as a facelift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.
You will be given local anesthesia and a sedative to relieve anxiety. During the procedure, you will feel some stretching of the forehead skin and possibly occasional discomfort. Some request a general anesthesia so they will sleep through the operation.
Sections of the hair will be held away from the surgery area. Hair immediately in front of the incision line may need to be trimmed, but your head will not be shaved. An incision is made at ear level and will continue across the top of the forehead at the hairline to avoid making the forehead appear too high. If you are bald or balding, the surgeon may use a mid-scalp incision to avoid a visible scar.
After removing excess tissue, skin, and muscle, the incision is closed with stitches or staples. Before dressings are applied, your hair and face will be washed to prevent irritation to the scalp skin.
Recovery: The area is wrapped with a sterile padding and an elastic bandage to prevent bleeding and edema. You will feel numbness and temporary discomfort in the surgical suite, which you can control with medication.
You will keep your head raised for 2-3 days after surgery to prevent swelling. Bruising and swelling will occur around the eyes and cheeks, but should begin to disappear in a few days or a week.
As nerves re-grow, numbness of the forehead and scalp will be replaced by itching. It may take up to 6 months for these sensations to fully disappear. The bandages will be removed a day or two after surgery. Within 10-14 days, the stitches or clips will be removed in two stages.
You will be able to walk around in 1-2 days, but you will not be able to work for at least 7 days after surgery. You can shampoo and shower 2 days after surgery, or as soon as the bandages are removed.
Within 10 days, you should be able to go back to work or school. Avoid all contact sports for 6-8 weeks. Limit prolonged exposure to heat or sun for several months.
Hair shafts will be a bit thinner around the incision for a few weeks or months, but the hair should start to grow normally again, Wearing your hair down on your forehead will hide most scars.
Most signs of the surgery should fade completely within 2-3 months. Makeup can cover minor swelling and bruising. At first, you’ll probably feel tired and let down, but that will pass as you begin to look and feel better. After a forehead lift, you will appear much younger and more rested than you did before. The procedure minimizes the appearance of aging for years.