Forehead Lift Helped My Frown Lines
Before and afters
I’m in my early 30s. Over the last few months, my husband has asked me a few times if I’m angry or worried about something. I’d always say no, but finally asked him why he kept asking me. He said it was because it looked like I was “furrowing my brow.” I had no idea what he meant, so I looked it up. Turns out he was right. There were wrinkles on my forehead that made me look like I was mad at someone, concerned about something, or just generally confused. Maybe I was guilty of frowning through the years, but now it looked as though my forehead was in a constant state of furrowing.
I started doing some research online to see if I could cure my frown lines without any type of cosmetic intervention. I visited a number of websites that proclaimed that changing my diet would help eliminate my frown lines. It seemed like pretty standard steps that everyone should follow to be healthier (hydrate, eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid smoking and alcohol, etc.). Some other sites recommended facial exercises and creams. I tried all of these, but to no avail.
I then started exploring cosmetic procedures online. I heard about several different types of treatments / procedures – Botox, injectable fillers (or both Botox and fillers), and different type of “lifts – brow or forehead, eyelid, and face.
I selected three board-certified plastic surgeons in my area that specializes in facial rejuvenation and set up some consultations. First we discussed Botox and fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane), but I decided I did not want to return every 6 to 9 months for more injections. I was also told that I really wasn't a good candidate for a face lift because it wouldn't address the area of my face (brows) that I wanted to remedy. So, it was good for me to know that I could put that off for a number of years (or when my cheeks and chin started to sag). And, an eyelid lift focused on the orbital area – around the eyes from the cheekbone to the brow bone – so not the area I wanted to address.
In my specific case, however, the plastic surgeons said that brow lift surgery was the best solution for me. I was told that a brow lift is a procedure would provide me with a subtle yet beautiful improvement to my looks.
I’m in the Midwest, so I’m not sure what the estimates would be for brow lifts near major cities or on either coast, but the estimates I received ranged from $4,000 to $6,500 (including all associated fees). I did not choose to go with the lowest cost provider. I went with the plastic surgeon that I felt most comfortable with and believed, based on her experience, would provide the best results long-term.
The next question was what type of forehead lift procedure I wanted to go with. There are a few types of this facial plastic surgery, such as a traditional (coronal) brow lift (and a few variations on this), where a small incision (the incision line) is made over the top of the scalp – basically from one ear to the other. The scalp is freed up from the underlying skull and is pulled up and back and the excess hair bearing scalp is resected and the incision is closed; and an endoscopic brow lift, where multiple smaller incisions are made in the scalp line and the scalp is elevated from the skull both and front and behind these incisions via an endoscope. With this procedure no scalp is removed.
The traditional brow lift can achieve greater or longer-lasting results, but the scar is much longer. With the endoscopic brow lift, the scar is usually not visible. If a person is bald or has thin hair in the front (not an issue for me), then the endoscopic brow lift may be best.
I chose to go with the traditional / coronal brow lift instead of the endoscopic forehead lift. I have a high hairline, so this seemed to be a better option for me. I was told that people with thin hair or that have significant hair loss are not good candidates for this procedure. However, I strongly recommend to anyone that is reading this that you spend time consulting with the plastic surgeon, as the different types of forehead lift surgeries have their advantages and disadvantages. Done correctly, I was told, I won’t look like some celebrities who've had brow lift procedures and constantly appear as though they just got the surprise of their life. Instead I would look refreshed.
I set the appointment for a Thursday, knowing that I was going to take Friday and the following week off from work to give my self adequate recovery time. I was told complete healing could take 10 to 14 days, so I figured I would be good to return to work in 10 or 11 days. As part of my pre-surgery consultation I was given a list of things to do / avoid prior to the procedure. For me, the pre-procedure instructions were easy to follow, since there were things on the list that I didn’t use anyway, like blood thinners, aspirin, avoiding alcohol a few days prior, etc. If you get a brow lift, you’ll be given a list of pre-procedure do’s and don’ts too.
My surgery was done on an outpatient basis. My husband drove me to and from the procedure. I opted for IV sedation, though general anesthesia was a possibility if I wanted it. I was told in recovery that the procedure lasted about 90 minutes. I really don’t remember a thing about the procedure, as the sedation did its job.
I really can’t say that I had much pain after the procedure and I didn't notice any bleeding. I did feel some discomfort and some tightness around my forehead, and occasional itching and headache. I also had some swelling and bruising, but used ice packs the first few days and that helped to reduce it.
After I left the surgical center, I was told that I should take it easy, but could walk around the house. I had to keep my head elevated that the first couple of nights when I went to sleep. I saw the plastic surgeon the day after my surgery, then one week and one month after surgery. I’m scheduled for a follow-up after three months and then probably not until about six months later, when the full effects of my surgery will be realized.
I was told to wash my incisions a couple of times per day (the doctor’s office will provide you with instructions). Although I could have showered the next day, I waited until Saturday to shower (2 days post-surgery) and was very careful to follow the doctor’s instructions about washing my hair.
I took a few of the prescription pain pills the doctor prescribed, but decided I didn’t like the way they made me feel, so I switched to Advil. I've heard so many horror stories lately about people addicted to pain medication that I didn't want to use it for too long. I did stay out of work for a week, but probably could have returned sooner. And, I did return to my normal activities around the same time, although I did not resume exercising for a good four weeks after the procedure.
Don’t worry, you’ll be given full instructions on what to do post-procedure. If you follow them closely, you’ll have great results.
One thing I want to specifically call out though is for the first couple of weeks is not to wear anything you have to pull over your head. Instead, wear a blouse or something that has to be buttoned up in the front or the back. The pulling motion doesn't feel good on a newly done forehead.
Now that the initial recovery period is over, I am starting to see a marked improvement in the way I look. Unfortunately, the effects of aging are inevitable, and while the brow and forehead area show the first signs, I think I was able to win the battle for now.