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Spa Services Procedures and Treatments » Forehead & Brow Lift (endoscopic)

Forehead & Brow Lift (endoscopic)

Facial aging often makes its earliest appearance around the eyes, as gravity and weakening muscles pull the brow down.  Reversing the downward pull with a forehead and brow lift can make a remarkable difference and subtract several years from a person’s face.  In patients whose vision has become obstructed by eyelid skin pressed over the eyes, a forehead lift combined with eyelid surgery to remove excess skin opens up the field of vision, allowing them to see clearly once more.  The forehead and brow lift is one of the most common surgical techniques performed by Dr. Sykes and among the procedures that produces the most dramatic results.

The choice to have an endoscopic forehead and brow lift with Dr. Sykes is an excellent one.  Dr. Sykes helped pioneer minimally invasive forehead and brow lift surgery and developed some of the tools and techniques now used by countless surgeons.  His expertise and understanding of the procedure’s nuances help you achieve the natural lift you desire.    

Before the minimally invasive approach was developed, forehead and brow lift surgery required a long incision spanning the width of the forehead and extending down to the temples.  Healing was slow and numbness of the scalp often lasted for months.  By contrast, the endoscopic forehead and brow lift technique requires only five small incisions, just large enough to allow pen-sized scopes with tiny cameras to be inserted.  The cameras provide doctors with a clear view beneath the skin, allowing them to perform the surgery without opening up the region with a larger incision. 

What to expect
A forehead and brow lift is commonly performed in conjunction with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to address excess lid skin and issues of too much, too little or incorrectly positioned fat.  The combination freshens up the eyes, eliminates a tired or unhappy look, and can take years off a patient’s face.  It is also common for Dr. Sykes to perform forehead and brow lifts with a midface lift, a combination that’s especially effective for patients in their 40s, or with face and neck lifts to rejuvenate the entire face.  If you are undergoing more than one procedure, you can expect a longer surgery time, but recovery times should remain the same as for a forehead and brow lift alone. 

The endoscopic forehead and brow lift takes one to two hours to perform.  You’ll be given sedation so you sleep through the surgery.  During the procedure, the surgeon will release the skin and muscles so that they can be repositioned to a higher position.  He will then lift and tighten the muscles, affixing them to the bone with long-lasting sutures that hold them in their new positions.  Any excess skin will be trimmed before the incisions are closed with staples or sutures that will be removed in a week.  Your incisions will be dressed with bandages to protect them until you come in for a follow-up visit the next day. 

You should expect to sleep a lot during the first 24 to 48 hours as the anesthesia moves out of your system.  Though you will be given a prescription for pain medication, many patients report the pain is like a dull headache and requires acetaminophen only.  You will experience swelling and bruising, generally peaking at three days and lasting about two weeks.  To keep both to a minimum, you will be asked to keep your head elevated and should apply frozen peas to the area for the first 48 hours.  It generally takes about two weeks for bruising to go away, though times vary by patient.  Any remaining bruises can be covered with camouflage makeup available through our aesthetician Jill Haynes, so you can return to normal activities at the two-week point.  We do ask that you hold off on resuming strenuous exercise for four weeks to allow the healing process to occur and to prevent injury. 

Typical results
Our patients often say people tell them they look well rested and refreshed following a forehead and brow lift.  Especially in patients whose heavy brow line made them look sad or angry, the result can dramatically improve how others see them.  A forehead and brow lift will make you look younger, generally by five to 10 years, especially when you combine the procedure with eyelid rejuvenation or a midface or face and neck lift.  Though you will always look younger than you would without the forehead and brow lift, the aging process will continue and you may wish to repeat the procedure in the future. 

Forehead and Brow Lift Fast Facts
The following are general guidelines only.  Variations are common.

Surgery length:

1 to 2 hours


Office or hospital outpatient surgery suite


Light sedation or anesthesia, patient is asleep during surgery


External dressings wrapping the side of head to protect incisions removed the following day

Pain & discomfort:

Some pain for the first few days, most often dull and generalized.  Tightness in the forehead and temples.    

Swelling & bruising:

Moderate, generally peaking by day three.  Bruising typically fades in 10 to 14 days.  Most of the swelling resolves in the first two weeks, though some residual swelling will remain for several months.  

Suture removal:

Typically at one week

Return to work:

Ten days to two weeks

Resume exercise:

Four weeks

Initial results:

One week following surgery, when sutures are removed 

Final results:  

Six months


Permanent, affected by ongoing aging


Jonathan M. Sykes, MD
Professor/Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
UCDavis Medical Group
2521 Stockton Blvd., Suite 6206
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 734-2347
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