Forehead / Brow Lift Procedure

What Is a Brow Lift?

A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a surgical procedure that will minimize creases that appear across the forehead, and creases that appear on the bridge of the nose. A brow lift will also lift a sagging eyebrow and will improve frown lines.

If you experience the appearance of frown lines or other aging signs in the brow and forehead area, you may want to consider a brow lift to:

  • Minimize creases across the forehead, or creases that are visible between the eyes which are high on the bridge of the nose
  • Improve frown lines, the vertical creases that become visible between the eyebrows
  • Reposition a sagging brow that creates a hood over the upper eyelid
  • Raise the eyebrows to a more youthful and less tired looking position

Often times, rejuvenation procedures are performed with a brow lift to provide an overall more youthful look to the face. These include:

  • Eyelid surgery which rejuvenates aging eyes
  • Facelift/necklift that improves signs of aging in the mid- to lower face and neck areas
  • Skin resurfacing

A brow lift is a personal decision that you should make for yourself and not to fulfill another individuals desires for you or to fit some unrealistic ideal image. You should consider having a brow lift surgery if you:

  • Are in good health
  • Don’t smoke
  • Have a positive outlook and have realistic ideas for improving your appearance 

What To Expect During Your Consultation With Dr. Bruce Van Natta

A safe and successful brow lift surgery depends very much on being completely candid during your consultation. Be sure to address any problems, concerns and questions with Dr. Van Natta. He will ask you a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be Prepared To Discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Van Natta May Also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Discuss the options available to you for facelift and facial rejuvenation
  • Examine and measure different parts of your face
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss likely outcomes of a facelift and any risks or potential complications

Preparing For Brow Lift Surgery

Prior To Surgery, You May Be Asked To:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding

Special Instructions You Receive Will Cover:

  • What to do on the night before and morning of surgery
  • The use of anesthesia during your brow lift
  • Post-operative care and follow-up

Your brow lift procedure will be performed at Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, an accredited office-based surgical center, utilizing seasoned, board certified anesthesiologists from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.

You’ll Need Help

Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Procedural Steps

Step 1 - Anesthesia

You will have a general anesthetic administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist.

Step 2 - Incisions

Dr. Van Natta performs brow lifts using an endoscope which is a surgical video device along with other special instruments that are placed through small incisions made within your hairline. This technique will allow Dr. Van Natta to reposition the muscle and tissue under your skin, as well as remove any excess thereby fixing the cause of the creases and furrows in your forehead area.

 Brow liftBrow Lift II

(Illustrations courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

In addition, incisions to eliminate frown lines between the brows or high on the bridge of your nose, may be hidden within the natural crease of your upper eyelids.

With your brow lift, incisions are concealed within your hairline and within the natural contours of your face. However, if you need to have your forehead shortened, incisions will be placed at your hairline.

Step 3 - Incision Closing

Dr. Van Natta’s brow lift incisions normally are closed with surgical staples. These cause much less injury to the surrounding hair follicles than sutures would.

Step 4 - See the Results

Your results will gradually appear once the bruising and swelling from the surgery diminishes. You will see smoother forehead skin and a more rested and youthful look.

We encourage you to view our brow lift surgery before and after photos.

Brow Lift Surgery Risks and Complications, Important Facts You Should Know

It is ultimately your decision to have a brow lift. Only you can decide if the benefits of this procedure will outweigh any of the potential risks and possible complications that may occur.

Dr. Van Natta and/or his staff will discuss with you the potential risks associated with having a brow lift at your consultation. Once you feel comfortable and understand the possible risks and complications, and you decide to have the surgery, you will then need to sign consent forms.

Possible Brow Lift Surgery Risks Are:

  • Scarring
  • Hematoma, or bleeding
  • Infection
  • Treatment area that heals poorly
  • Risks of using anesthetics
  • Extremely rare occurrence of blood clots
  • Hair loss at the incision sites that is correctible
  • Hairline becomes elevated
  • Weakness or paralysis in the face caused by nerve injury
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Skin loss
  • Changes in skin sensation such as numbness or itching
  • Dry or irritated eyes
  • Accumulation of fluids
  • Persistent pain
  • Irregularities in skin contour
  • Swelling or discoloration of the skin
  • Sutures become visible by surfacing to the skin and may cause irritation - sutures will need to be removed 
  • Additional surgery may be needed

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Van Natta. It is normal to feel anxious, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Be sure to discuss your feelings with Dr. Van Natta during your consultation.

Once You Are Home

As with any surgical procedure, if you experience any of the following symptoms: pains in your chest, unusual beating of your heart, and/or labored or difficulty breathing, immediately seek medical attention. It is possible you will need hospitalization to receive further treatment.

While good results of your brow lift should be expected, in some cases it is not possible to receive your desired results with one surgical procedure. Depending on your results, it may be necessary to have another surgery performed.

Your Recovery

Following Dr. Van Natta’s instructions for your recovery is vital for your brow lift results. Do not subject your incisions to the following: motion, abrasion, or excessive force while they are in the process of healing. Dr. Van Natta will provide you with detailed care instructions after your surgery.

Following your brow lift, to minimize the potential for bruising and swelling, your forehead may be taped and your head loosely wrapped.

Specific Instructions Are:

  • Caring for your treatment areas
  • Applying topical medications and taking oral medications that help the process of healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • Identifying potential areas of concern at the incision sites as well as changes in your overall health 
  • Following-up with Dr. Van Natta

Long-Lasting Results

Your initial healing from your brow lift may take between 5 to 10 days. Then any clips or sutures used during surgery will be removed. Once they are removed you may return to work and your day-to-day activities. If any bruising remains, you may use cosmetics to conceal them.

Your incisions will continue to heal for another several weeks. Your swelling will dissipate and any lines from your incisions will fade. It is important to understand your complete recovery may take several months.

To help extend the results from your brow lift and enjoy your younger and more rested look, you will need to use life-long sun protection to minimize damage from the sun and other environmental factors. It is also vital to continue eating healthy and to maintain an active lifestyle.

Brow Lift Costs

As an elective surgery, the cost of brow lift surgery is an important consideration and pricing can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost will vary based on his or her level of experience, where his or her office is located geographically, and any other procedures that are being performed at the same time. Our office offers patient financing plans, so ask us about this option.

Costs Include:

  • Fees for the surgeon
  • Costs of the surgical facility
  • Fees for using anesthetics
  • Prescription medications
  • Garments to use post-surgery
  • Medical testing

Satisfaction With Your Brow Lift Includes More Than Cost

When you are in the process of deciding on a plastic surgeon for your brow lift, consider the surgeon’s experience as well as your comfort level with him or her. These factors are equally important as the final cost of the surgery. And remember, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cosmetic surgery is not a place to try to cut corners.

Contact your health insurance provider, since most plans will not cover elective surgery or its complications.

Brow Lift Glossary

  • Brow lift: A surgical procedure to correct a low-positioned or sagging brow; smoothes furrows across the forehead and between the brows.
  • Endoscope: A surgical video device sometimes used during brow lift procedures.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Skin resurfacing: Procedure to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin.
  • Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.

Things You Should Know About Dr. Van Natta:

  • He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • He was specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery
  • He has 5 years of general surgery training and 2 ½ years of plastic surgery training.
  • He has been in private practice for 25 years.
  • His surgical facility, Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and it is state-licensed and Medicare-certified.
  • He also has hospital privileges to perform this procedure at St. Vincent Hospital.

We encourage you to check out Dr. Van Natta’s brow lift surgery before and after pictures.