Brow Lift / Foreheadplasty

Eyebrows that are low and heavy, often with excess upper eyelid skin and etched lines and wrinkles, can contribute to an unwanted tired, tense, angry, or sad appearance. During a brow or temple lift by Dr. Miller, the eyebrows are only lifted to natural, aesthetically pleasing positions. The excess lateral eyelid skin, called “hooding”, is eliminated. If needed, the addition of a foreheadplasty will enhance the results—the procedure smooths the forehead and reduces the activity of overactive muscles, providing a youthful, pleasant appearance. View the results of these procedures in the accompanying video, she looks effortlessly Refreshed.

To restore a refreshed appearance, Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy R. Miller, M.D., offers his brow lift surgery at his state-of-the-art practice, located in Aliso Viejo. Relying on his specialized training in facial plastic surgery, as well as his years of experience, Dr. Miller will create a soft, natural-looking appearance that restores a more youthful look, while preserving the natural facial animation and expression that is uniquely you.

Dr. Miller is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon with an uncommon level of training and experience. He has focused his practice on performing face and neck enhancements, including brow lift surgery for clients for people from Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and beyond. To schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Miller, call us at 949-482-1752 or request a consultation online.

What is a Brow Lift?

A brow lift helps restore a pleasant, inviting facial expression and can boost your self-confidence. During the procedure, the effects of aging and gravity are corrected. Drooping brows are elevated to a more youthful position, improving your appearance, and in some cases even reversing vision obstructions. Similar to a facelift, incisions are made at ear level and are hidden within the hairline. After lifting the forehead skin, the surgeon is able to remove excess skin and fat while tightening the facial muscles. The end result is a more well-rested, relaxed countenance.

Dr. Miller's Approach to Brow Lifts

In the past and still today, eyebrow rejuvenation has often been performed too aggressively. The eyebrows are elevated too high, resulting in an unnatural, displeasing, and obvious "she's had work done" look. These results can be avoided. Newer and more artistic approaches take a more conservative line: "less is more." That is, the emphasis is on a natural and gentle elevation of the eyebrows. My goal with brow lift or temple lift surgery is to better frame the eye, eliminate the tired, sad, or angry appearance seen with downturned and lowered eyebrows, and remove the excess skin that exists on the outside portion of the upper eyelid (called "hooding").

Commonly, patients with falling and deflated eyebrows tend to elevate their eyebrows for extended periods of time, often doing so subconsciously. The constant muscle activity is responsible for the horizontal lines and wrinkles on the forehead, which can sometimes be very deep and etched. Also, the corrugator muscles may be overactive causing deep lines and furrows between the eyebrows, often termed the “11’s”. This subconscious muscle activity can be effectively reduced with a foreheadplasty during brow lift procedures. Non-surgical procedures such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, fat augmentation, and fillers can provide options for some patients looking to remedy lowered and deflated eyebrows, but these may not be optimal treatments for everyone.

The brow lift is a procedure performed with incisions hidden within the hair on the scalp. The hair is not shaved or cut. Proper "release" of the eyebrow is essential and takes years of surgical skill to master. Incision location and proper release of the eyebrows provides tension-free, natural elevation vectors of the brow and solid long-term results. During the temple lift procedure, only the outside portion of the eyebrows are elevated, and occasionally the procedure is extended to a full brow lift for those with heavier or significantly lowered brows. In these instances, the inner portion of the eyebrows are elevated as well. A foreheadplasty is commonly added to a brow lift procedure to enhance the aesthetic results as seen in the video.

The procedure can be performed with moderate sedation, meaning the patient is conscious but very relaxed. Deeper forms of sedation are available. The social downtime is typically 7 to 10 days, with the sutures removed after 10 days — Dr. Miller never uses staples for any of his procedures.

What are the Benefits to Brow Lift?

  • Helps reduce wrinkles, lines, creases, folds, and furrows
  • Raises sunken, drooping brows
  • Creates a brighter smile
  • Improves the facial expression
  • Can restore vision
  • Can be well-combined with a facelift or blepharoplasty

Who is a Candidate?

Good candidates for a brow lift have the following characteristics:

  • Sagging brows
  • Frown lines between the eyes
  • Puffy upper eyelids
  • A disgruntled, angry, tired, or sad facial expression

As with any surgery, patients should be:

  • Healthy, both mentally and physically
  • Non-smoking
  • Free from serious medical conditions
  • Realistic and positive in their outlook
  • Willing to follow the surgeon’s instructions

What can I expect from my recovery?

After your brow lift, you will experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Pain medications, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection will be prescribed. You can use cool compresses to help alleviate tenderness in the upper face and eyes.

Most patients take a few weeks off from work to rest and heal. You will need to avoid strenuous exercise for about 4 weeks. During recovery, you should be especially careful to protect your results from the harmful rays of the sun by wearing sunblock and a sun hat. Soon you will back on your feet, enjoying a more youthful, engaging appearance free from brow ptosis.

Common Questions or Concerns

Will I have obvious scars?

Dr. Miller's incisions are well hidden within the hairline. For patients with elevated hairlines or for those who wish to lower their hairlines, Dr. Miller uses trichophytic incisions, which encourage hair to grow through the incision sites. No hair is removed during the procedure, and no staples or screws are used. Dr. Miller hand sews all his incisions.

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Will I look wind-blown?

No. Dr. Miller is known for creating very natural looking results. You will look refreshed, not wind-blown or pulled and your eye shape will remain the same. Most patients will go home after surgery and return the next day for evaluation. Sutures inconspicuously located in the hairline are removed 10 days after surgery. Dr. Miller often prescribes pain medication to be taken for 1 to 3 days after the procedure for optimal comfort. Patients can resume most of their normal activities within 7 to 10 days, with no exercise restrictions after 4 weeks.

What are the non-surgical alternatives to brow lift surgery?

BOTOX® Cosmetic, fat transfer, or dermal fillers can be effective non-surgical options for elevating a slightly lowered brow. However, if significant sagging is present, these treatments may not be sufficient. Dr. Miller will recommend the best course of action during your consultation.

How should I choose a plastic surgeon for a brow lift?

As with any surgery, skill and experience are key. While many surgeons may perform this surgical procedure, the outcomes vary widely. When brow lift surgery has been performed too aggressively, the result can be shocking, leaving the patient with a pulled, unnatural look that is clearly the result of surgery – and that’s the last thing you want. The ideal result is a refreshed, more youthful look that appears completely natural.

Dr. Timothy R. Miller, M.D. is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. Every procedure is carefully planned and executed to produce a subtle improvement that inspires compliments. His background and specialized surgical training have given him a great breadth of knowledge about the anatomy of the face and neck, and how to produce beautiful surgical results. When looking for a facial plastic surgeon to perform a brow lift in Orange County, take the time to review qualifications, experience, and education as your first step.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Depending on the patient’s needs and preferences, brow lift surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or twilight sedation. Our patients are very comfortable before, during, and after their procedure.

Are there any risks?

All surgeries come with inherent risks, but complications are greatly minimized by choosing an experienced, skilled plastic surgeon such as Dr. Miller. With a brow lift, risks include anesthesia risks, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, hematoma, numbness, nerve damage, and hyperpigmentation.

What other procedures can be combined with a brow lift?

A brow lift can do wonders to rejuvenate the upper face, especially when paired with blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. A facelift or neck lift can also accompany a brow lift to significantly roll back the clock on facial aging. Moreover, combining procedures can save patients time and money and help them attain their aesthetic goals more quickly.

Step-by-Step Procedure Facts

  • Your procedure will be performed in our AAAASF accredited operating facility.
  • You will likely receive either general anesthesia or conscious sedation for the procedure, this will be discussed with Dr. Miller during your consultation.
  • In most cases, you will be able to return home the same day.
  • You will receive pain medication for the first 2 to 3 days for increased comfort.
  • You can resume most social activities in 7 to 10 days.
  • Results will progressively improve as bruising and swelling resolve.

Is a brow lift for men different from a brow lift for women?

A good plastic surgeon will understand the nuances of their patient’s anatomical structures and will customize their brow lift to accurately reflect their gender identity. For women, the brow usually has a central arch and is higher on the face than for men. The male brow has less of an arch and is situated lower near the eyelids. The amount of skin removed must take these differences into account in order to maintain a natural outcome.

Patient Care Beyond the Ordinary

Dr. Miller established his practice to be patient-centered. Every detail was put in place to make the experience as smooth and pleasant as possible. Our state-of-the-art surgery center has all of the most advanced technology, and adheres to the strictest patient health and safety protocols. You can be confident that your Orange County brow lift will be performed by a plastic surgeon who is at the top of his field, and who takes great pride in creating the most natural-looking, beautiful facial enhancements.