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What is a Browlift?

Your eyebrows play an important role in your facial features, which is why so many people do things to shape their eyebrows. These include brow hair removal, tattooing, tinting, and of course make up. As with most cosmetic treatments, women pay more attention to eye treatments than men. In addition to beauty, eyebrows also play a role in portraying youthfulness. As we age, the brows will drop, and start to affect your eyes’ appearance. A more lifted eyebrow not only helps you look younger, but it also can make the eye look better too.

Make up, tatoos, etc have very limited impact on your brow position. The most common cosmetic treatment to try and lift the brows probably remains Botox and other neuromodulators. Advanced techniques of filler injections can also augment Botox’s effects. Recently, we’ve seen the increase in threads to lift the brows. Though these minimally invasive procedures have increased, many people are still opting for a more permanent change with surgery. Demand for brow lifts was significantly up in 2021 compared to previous years, according to a 2021 American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive member survey.

So what is a brow lift? A brow lift doesn’t just lift your eyebrows. It actually lifts the entire forehead (which includes your eyebrows). Some surgeons prefer to call these procedures as forehead lift. There are several techniques to do a brow lift. A coronal browlift uses an incision that goes from the top of your ear, across the top of your head to your other ear. This is an older technique that is not frequently used for cosmetic reasons. I have seen this more often used for trauma cases. A trichophytic brow lift is a procedure that make an incision in the hairline at the top of your forehead. This is common technique that can lift your brows effectively, especially if you have significant heavy skin in your forehead. If you have a high hairline, this is another technique that is very effective. An endoscopic forehead lift is one of the most common techniques. The advantage of this technique is that only several small incisions are made in your hair (behind the hairline). An endoscope and special dissecting instruments are then used through these small incisions to release your forehead at the brows and lift. This was my most common technique until recently when I modified the technique to eliminate the use of endoscopes entirely. I changed my technique after hearing handful of experts report their techniques that didn’t need the scope. The main reason is better detailed knowledge of forehead anatomy and the nerves. If you are familiar with the anatomy and what is needed to release the forehead, then the endoscope becomes a luxury and is no longer mandatory to perform the procedure. In my practice, I call this technique the limited incision browlift. Fixation of the released brows can be achieved with various techniques—ranging from using temporary screws, drilling a suturing tunnel in your skull, using biodegradable hooks, to bio adhesive (my preference). For men with deep forehead wrinkles, I find the mid-forehead lift a good technique. This technique involves directly excising skin in your forehead, but hide the scars in your forehead winkles. In my experience, this technique has never been accepted by women. A final (also very uncommonly used) technique is the direct brow lift. Here, incisions are designed immediately above the eyebrows. This technique requires very meticulous wound closure to hide the scars within the eyebrow hair.

Surgery can achieve more dramatic and longer lasting browlifts than Botox, fillers, or threads. But many patients still have some apprehension with surgery because of the natural fear of surgical complications. As with any surgical procedures, risks include bleeding, scarring, and infection. In addition, browlifts can also risk injury to the nerves. Asymmetrical brow height is also possible. Another feared complication is over lifting the brows, resulting in a permanent surprised look. While this is possible, I have found this to be extremely difficult to get, especially with the limited incision (or endoscopic) brow lift. It’s also difficult to get over lifted eyebrows with the trichophytic browlift because for you to get the brows lifted that excessively, I feel too much skin would have to be removed. In the relatively small area of your forehead, that will result in a major risk of wide unsightly scar at your hairline. In my practice, most patients get a slight lift to expose more of the eyelid area so the eyes look better. The usual browlift is not designed to change the shape of your eyebrows or make them go up very high. My observation is confirmed when I see postoperative photos of many experts at meetings and textbooks that show subtle to very slight changes. But these slight changes play important effect in achieving a noticeable overall improvement in the patients’ periocular aesthetics.

For more information about San Antonio male facelift surgery, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 or