The age at which a person decides to get a brow lift is a highly personal choice, particularly since we all age at dramatically different rates. At Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO, we typically perform brow surgery and other facial lifting procedures on patients between the ages of 40 and 70, but this is certainly not a rule written in stone.
When opting for any kind facial cosmetic surgery where the goal is anti-aging, many people wait until they notice significant sagging and wrinkling, however having a procedure done before too much aging has taken place can allow for a more subtle, natural result. Let’s take a closer look at how to determine the best age for lifting the forehead and brows.
When Should You Get Brow Surgery?
There is no simple answer to this question, because no two people age in exactly the same way. Some people begin to show significant signs of facial laxity in their 30’s, while others might continue to maintain very good skin elasticity right into their 60’s.
If you are beginning to notice an increase in fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead, or if your eyebrows seem lower and droopier than they used to be, it might be time to think about a brow lift. This procedure will also improve the appearance of sagging upper eyelids, but in some cases, patients will need an eyelid lift, which is a separate procedure (although it can be performed at the same time).
Is There an Ideal Age?
While there is not an ideal age at which to have this procedure done, we do find that many brow lift patients are at a stage in life where they are beginning to look tired, but are not necessarily ready for a full facelift. The forehead develops expression lines quite early in the aging process and can be one of the first spots that begin to bother people when they look in the mirror.
Since lifting the brows and forehead is a less invasive procedure than a full facelift, it can be a good option for people who wish to have a more refreshed appearance, but with less downtime. Even when performed alone in the absence of other procedures, a lifted brow line and forehead can restore a much more youthful and rested appearance.
When Earlier Intervention is Recommended
While most men and women can wait until they are past the age of 45 to schedule a procedure of this nature, some patients wish to take a proactive approach to maintaining a youthful appearance. When a person has a genetic predisposition to wrinkling and skin laxity, they might already be showing signs of aging in their 30’s. Poor lifestyle habits can also speed up this process, but more often than not, premature aging simply comes down to genetics.
Having said this, a person in their 30’s might not necessarily need a surgical procedure just yet and could opt for a non-invasive treatment instead. Injectables, fillers, and laser therapies have come a long way and can produce excellent results for people who are not too far along in the aging process. While the results will not be as long-lasting, this can be a good option for people who do not feel quite ready yet for a surgical procedure.
Is It Possible To Be Too Old for Brow Surgery?
As with any type of cosmetic surgery, the patient’s overall health and ability to heal must be taken into consideration. However, if a more mature patient is still in good health and able to go under general anesthesia, then there is no reason why this procedure can’t be performed safely.
If you are aged 70 or older, your health status will be carefully reviewed during your initial consultation, and we may require confirmation from your general practitioner that you are well enough to undergo surgery. If there is too much risk involved, we may have to decline the patient, although it is possible that they might be able to schedule a procedure when and if their health improves.
What the Ideal Candidate Looks Like
An ideal brow lift candidate will be in good health, a non-smoker, and someone who is able to take enough time off work to recuperate. If you have a very hectic lifestyle and do not think you will be able to take several weeks to rest post-op, then it might not be the right time for you to schedule this procedure.
Surgical candidates should also have realistic expectations for what to expect. Cosmetic surgery can certainly turn back the clock, but it will not make you look the way you did when you were in your 20s. In the case of a brow lift, while wrinkles will definitely be smoothed out, we cannot guarantee that they will be erased entirely. Patients might still benefit from filler, or from having an eyelid lift or upper facelift to further smooth out this part of the face.
When You’ve Decided It’s the Right Time for a Brow Lift
If you and your doctor have determined that the time is right for a brow lift, you may have some questions about what this procedure exactly entails. Your surgeon essentially pulls the skin of your forehead upwards, smoothing out any wrinkles and raising the eyebrows to a more youthful position. This is a fairly straightforward procedure, but it does require patients to be put under general anesthesia and you will need help getting home afterwards.
Preparing for Surgery
It is important that patients schedule at least two weeks off work. While the healing process is much quicker than that required by a full face lift, you will still feel quite sleepy coming out of surgery and will need plenty of rest in the days that follow. Engaging is housework and other moderate physical activities should be avoided post-op until your doctor tells you otherwise, so lining up some help around the house is a good idea.
If you are taking any medications that thins the blood, you may have to come off them temporarily. Your doctor will discuss this with you during your consultation. If you are a smoker, you will definitely need to quit (preferably for good, or at least until you have recovered from surgery).
When You Get Home
Ideally, patients should have someone at home to help them, at least for the first day or two after surgery. It is important to get proper nutrition and hydration to speed the recovery process, and this can be difficult to accomplish when you’re on your own. Resting with your head in an elevated position and doing as little as possible is recommended.
Not engaging in any intense physical activity is very important during the first several weeks after surgery. Normally, at the three-week mark, brow lift patients can resume most normal daily activities, but it is still important to self monitor to make sure you aren’t overdoing it. More Intense physical exertion may need to be avoided for a couple of months after surgery.
Will There Be Discomfort?
Patients should not experience any significant discomfort during the healing process. Your doctor may prescribe some medication to take for the first few days after your procedure, but most patients find that an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol is all they need. Applying a cold compress can also be helpful.
What Results To Expect
Once the forehead has fully healed, patients will see much smoother skin and lifted eyebrows. While it might take a while for the incision marks to fade, these will be positioned behind the hairline and should not be noticeable. Following the incision care guidelines provided by your doctor can speed the healing process. Within a few weeks post-op, patients should notice a significant improvement in the following signs of aging:
- Forehead wrinkles
- Sunken eyebrows
- Drooping upper eyelids
- Tired or angry appearance
Maintaining Your Results Long-Term
As with any facial cosmetic surgery, maintaining your youthful appearance long after the procedure is possible if you engage in some basic healthy lifestyle habits. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and keeping your face out of the sun can all contribute to extending your results as long as possible.
Are You Ready To Turn Back the Clock?
If you are bothered by signs of aging and want to learn more about what your options are, contact us today at Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO. We can discuss brow surgery or any of the other anti-aging procedures and treatments that we offer.