As we age, it’s normal to notice that our brow line is becoming creased and we’re seeing more and more wrinkles. The brows can also start to sag, and our skin usually becomes laxer. This can be dismaying since our brows are one of our most defining features. They outline our eyes and are key to showing our expression. If you’re displeased with what you’re seeing in the mirror, it might be time for a brow lift from Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO.
When Should You Consider a Brow Lift?
1. When Your Skin Stops Bouncing Back
It’s natural for our skin to become less lax as we age. That’s because our skin strength depends on collagen and elastin, and our body stops making these two proteins in as great a quantity as we get older.
What Collagen Has to Do With It
Around the time we turn 30, our collagen levels begin to drop by about 1% each year. At first, the changes are hardly noticeable, but with time they will become more dramatic. That’s because collagen is what builds a strong “scaffold” in the lower layers of the skin that keeps the upper layers tight and firmly anchored to the fat and muscle underneath. As this scaffolding deteriorates, our skin begins to sag.
Elastin is the protein responsible for giving our skin elasticity and bounce, and a drop in this as well as in collagen means our skin will continue to sag more and more as we age. For the brow, this means our eyebrows may actually move down, decreasing the distance between the eyebrows and eyelashes. If you’ve noticed your skin is sagging and doesn’t bounce back like it used to, it might be time for a lift.
2. When You Are Tired of Looking Tired
When our eyebrows begin to shift, it changes the way we look. Depending on your unique situation, you could look tired, angry, or as if you’re frustrated or concentrating. You may have this look all the time, and it can even interfere with relationships and career success. After all, few people feel comfortable around someone who appears to always be disgruntled or overly serious!
If you’re tired of looking tired, sad, or angry even when you feel precisely the opposite, it might be time to consider a lift. Such a lift can make you look more alert and youthful as well as friendlier and more approachable.
3. When Your Wrinkles Are Becoming Prominent
If you’re seeing deep horizontal creases across your forehead or frown lines between your eyebrows that you want to be rid of, a lift could be the answer. These wrinkles can be treated for a while with neuromodulators like Botox or with dermal fillers, and some other cosmetic treatments can help, too; but eventually, it becomes necessary to take a more aggressive position in the fight against wrinkles.
A lift will pull up the skin into a more pleasing position, smoothing it out and refreshing your look. You’ll come away from your lift looking more youthful and with smoother skin, and though nothing can actually stop the hands of time, you’ll be treating new forehead wrinkles from a new “set point.” If wrinkles are bothering you, it might be time for a lift.
4. When You Have Difficulty Seeing
Naturally, a brow lift can’t address all the possible causes of poor vision, but there’s one thing it can fix: tissue that is drooping so far it’s actually obscuring your vision. When your upper eyelids sag so far they interfere with sight, it’s essential to get a lift.
If you’re able to gently pull up the skin above your eyebrow and it moves into a more pleasing position, and if this also pulls the excess skin off your eyelids at the same time, then an eyebrow lift might be just the answer to improve your vision.
5. When You’ve Discussed Your Options With a Plastic Surgeon
The first step before any procedure should be to come talk with us at Boulder Plastic Surgery. We have more than 40 years of experience in helping people achieve their goals through plastic surgery, and our surgical staff has over 80 combined years of training and practice.
The best way to know if it’s time for a lift is to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified surgeons. We can help you understand if it’s the right time for you or if it would be better to wait or try a different treatment to treat your aging concerns. We can also suggest other procedures that can be combined with the eyebrow lift to provide a more comprehensive change to your look if that’s what is right for you.
What to Know About the Procedure
What It Is
The procedure itself is fairly straightforward. We simply alter the muscles in the forehead so they don’t allow so much drooping. At the same time, we trim off excess skin. The whole thing is done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia to ensure your optimal comfort at all times.
How It’s Done
At Boulder Plastic Surgery, we use the endoscopic brow lift technique. A traditional lift is invasive and requires more downtime while offering greater risk of scarring and other side effects. The endoscopic method allows us to reshape the brows with a minimum of incisions.
During the procedure, we make very small incisions in the scalp and use them to access the brow with a flexible scope. The scope is very small and contains a light and a camera. This lets us see exactly what’s going on internally so we can adjust the structure of your face for a more youthful result without making any significant cuts. The small incisions are made along the top of the scalp and at the temples on either side, and they are completely hidden within your hair.
What It Combines With
Whenever you combine procedures, you save time and money over having them done separately, so if you’re having an eyebrow lift, it’s a good time to consider other work you might like to have done. Here are some procedures and treatments that are perfect to combine with a lift to the brows:
While a lift can alter the placement of your brows and smooth out wrinkles, it cannot address skin color irregularities, wrinkles in the lower part of the face, acne scars, age spots, or sun damage. Combining your lift with a skin resurfacing treatment can give you an overall more youthful look and improve the look and texture of your skin.
A lift to the brow only addresses the brows themselves and the immediate surrounding area. If you have deep wrinkles and skin laxity farther up on your forehead, combining a brow and forehead lift can be the right way to address issues in the upper face in just one sitting.
In some cases, moving the sagging skin from the brows isn’t enough to correct all vision issues. Sometimes there’s too much skin on the eyelids themselves. This excess skin can also contribute to a tired and distracted look. Eyelid surgery removes the excess skin, muscle, and fat so you look young and alert again. It also ensures there is no tissue obstructing your vision.
FAQ About This Procedure
How Long Does It All Take?
The average length for this procedure is one and a half hours. This is an outpatient procedure, and while you will need someone to drive you home, you won’t need to stay overnight in the hospital.
How Long Until I’m Fully Recovered?
You can shower and bathe carefully the day after your surgery, and you should expect to take seven to 10 days off from work to ensure you’re fully recovered and feeling at your best before returning. Wait on salon visits for about four weeks: after that, you can have normal visits, including hair coloring.
You should also wait about a month before returning to very strenuous activities, like intense exercise or anything that requires heavy lifting or straining. Each person is different, and returning to your normal schedule should be done on your terms and in consultation with your surgeon. Once the first month is past, the usual rule is to return to an activity only when you feel comfortable and pain-free doing it.
How Long Until I See Results?
Most people start to see a significant difference about two weeks after their treatment. These improvements continue to develop over the next two weeks. You will also see small and subtle improvements over the next six months.
How Many Office Visits Are Required?
We need to see you one day after your operation and then again after another five days. This is so we can monitor your condition and ensure that everything has gone exactly according to plan. In the following three months, plan for another seven to ten office visits, depending on your unique situation. After that, you should come to see us once a year.
How Long Do the Results Last?
Compared to injectables, this is a permanent treatment. The results do not fade as they do with cosmetic treatments. However, the aging process cannot be stopped, so gravity will continue to pull on your skin and laxity will continue. You will never go back to the severity you saw before your procedure, however, and it will take years for new aging signs to develop.
You can extend and improve your results by taking excellent care of your skin with a skincare regime that includes regular collagen treatments, exfoliation, and moisturizing. If you don’t already have the habit of protecting your skin from the sun, now is the time to start. Always wear at least a 30 SPF sunscreen, and avoid going out when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest in the middle of the day. A healthy diet and good hydration will also support your ongoing skin health.
How Do I Prepare for My Lift Procedure?
We will give you specific instructions when we schedule your procedure, but there are some universal preparation steps that apply to nearly any procedure of this type.
Smoking is terrible for your skin, but more than that, it compromises your body’s circulatory system. It raises your blood pressure and creates an enormous risk of complications for any surgery. If you’re a smoker, there has never been a better time to stop than right now. You will need to be able to go nicotine-free for at least six weeks before your surgery and for another six weeks after. And if you’re able to do that, why not quit for good? Not only will it ensure the best results for your procedure, but you’ll also ensure your results last for as long as possible.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is enjoyable, and some types may even be good for us in moderation, but it does raise the blood pressure. It also acts as a diuretic, which means your body loses more vital nutrients than it should through an increased need to urinate. It’s best to limit alcohol in the two weeks leading up to your procedure and avoid it entirely the week of surgery and during your recovery period.
Check Your Medications
We’ll talk with you before your procedure about all the medications you’re taking, and it may be necessary to stop taking some, at least temporarily. You’ll need to stop any medications in particular that thin the blood, such as prescription anticoagulants and even certain over the counter drugs like aspirin and supplements like St. John’s Wort. If you are dependent on blood thinners, talk with your general physician about whether it’s safe to stop for a few weeks. If not, talk with us about other options for your aesthetic goals.
You’ll feel better and recover faster if you make some arrangements before the procedure. These include preparing your home and recovery room so they are comfortable for you, arranging for someone to transport you to and from your procedure and stay with you for the first night, filling all prescriptions, and laying in a stock of nutritious food that you enjoy. You might consider making and freezing some meals in advance so there’s no need to worry about food prep during recovery. You should also arrange for child or pet care for the first week after your procedure to minimize your stress and allow you to fully relax and recover.
Get Plenty of Rest
You will recover most quickly if you are well-rested and in good health prior to your procedure. Make sure you’re getting at least the full eight hours of sleep nightly for the week before your procedure and do what you can to make time for self-care and minimize your chronic stress.
Your body will be busy recovering after your procedure, and you can help it do that efficiently by giving it all the nutritional support it needs prior to your lift. Avoid trans fats, processed foods, refined grains, and sugars. Prioritize healthful proteins, vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. Your body (and your brows) will thank you.
Is It Time to Consider a Lift?
If you’re displeased with what you’re seeing in the mirror and would like to consider lifting your brow, visit Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO today and set up a consultation with us. We offer state-of-the-art treatments combined with extensive expertise, and we would love to help you decide when you should consider a brow lift.