As we age, our skin starts to sag in several places, especially our faces. For most people, one of the features that become looser and droop downwards is the brow.
Throughout the aging process, skin and tissue beneath the brow weaken as collagen production slows down and cannot move the brow back into place after being stretched. Because of the weakening of the skin and soft tissues, you may notice that the distance between your eyebrows and eyelash lines becomes smaller.
This shortening between our eyebrows and eyelashes can give us a “furrowed” appearance, making us look tired, angry, or sad when we are not tired, angry, or sad. Some people try to make sagging brows less noticeable with makeup products by applying eyeshadow in specific areas and drawing their eyebrows higher. However, there are other more permanent, practical options for rejuvenating your brows and eyes.
If you have noticed the skin and muscles around your eyebrows sagging, a brow lift may be a great option to give you a more refreshed, happier, and well-rested appearance. Although there are several brow-lifting techniques, the main goal is to raise the brows and rejuvenate the forehead to different degrees and areas. Expert facial surgeons can improve the appearance of the forehead, the brow, and the area around the eyes simultaneously with a brow lift.
In this post, we’ll explore one particular type of brow surgery: the lateral brow lift.
What is a lateral brow lift?
During a lateral brow lift, which in some cases is called the temporal brow lift, Dr. Kaplan rejuvenates and tightens the skin and tissues in the forehead and lifts the placement of the eyebrows in the same procedure.
The temporal brow lift targets the outer portion of your eyebrows while lifting the outside eye area and giving you a more youthful, alert appearance. The lateral brow lift is more minimally invasive than other brow lifting techniques, leaving the central forehead and central brow untouched.
What does a lateral brow lift involve?
A lateral brow lift involves creating small incisions behind the hairline, close to the temples, allowing pulling of the brow, forehead, and outer portions of the eyes, creating a youthful, rejuvenated appearance.
Dr. Kaplan makes two small, hidden incisions just beyond the hairline on the temples of each side of your face after injecting the site with local anesthesia to make the procedure as painless as possible for you. By pulling the underlying tissue, fine lines and wrinkles are lifted beneath the skin’s surface, leaving the lateral portions of your face smoothed out.
After lifting, Dr. Kaplan removes any excess skin on the outer part of the brow.
Minor bruising and swelling directly after a lateral brow lift are normal and should fade within the first two weeks after the procedure. You will usually be asked to return one week after your procedure to have the sutures removed.
The temporal brow lift is a good option for you if you don’t have time to be away from duties such as working or parenting, as the downtime is shorter than that of the traditional brow lift, which lifts the entire forehead.
Am I a candidate for a lateral brow lift?
The lateral brow procedure lifts the brow at its outer third, creating an arch often desired by many patients, especially women. If people have a natural arch when they are younger, they tend to fade with age.
On the other hand, if you are young and don’t have a natural arch, and would feel more confident with one, you may be able to get a lateral brow lift to accomplish your wish. The lateral brow lift is best if you want a slight, not overly dramatic lift to your eyebrows. More invasive brow-lifting techniques can cause a surprised, open-eyed look if the surgeon is not careful enough.
Other characteristics of a good candidate for a lateral brow lift include:
- You have low-sagging skin on the outer part of your brow
- The outer part of your brow is drooping and adding to the droopiness of your upper eyelids
- You want a more arched brow
- You want to smooth out wrinkles on the sides of your forehead
- You have realistic expectations
- You want a surgery with shorter downtime
If you’re unsure whether a lateral brow lift is correct for your goals, visit a facial plastic surgeon for a thorough assessment. The surgeon will recommend the best surgery to achieve your goals with your specific condition.
If your concerns go beyond the lateral portion of your forehead, brow, and eyes, you should consider a more invasive option such as the traditional brow lift. Other types of brow lift techniques include:
- Coronal brow lift: During a coronal brow lift, an incision is made in the scalp, behind the hairline, that extends from ear to ear. The forehead skin is then lifted over the incision, creating an overlap. The excess, overlapping skin is removed and the new scalp line is sewn together.
- Hairline brow lift (trichial): A hairline brow lift (trichial) can help patients with very high or receding hairlines. During this procedure, an incision is made between the forehead and the hairline, then removes excess skin from the forehead.
- Endoscopic brow lift: During an endoscopic brow lift, 3-5 small incisions are made behind the hairline in the scalp. A small camera is inserted to see under the skin so the surgeon can use a separate instrument to adjust the underlying tissue.
Learn more about brow lifts at The Kaplan Center.
What benefits does a lateral brow lift offer?
Although the lateral brow lift does not target the central forehead and brow like other brow lifting techniques, it includes a wide array of benefits for patients who are good candidates for the procedure, including:
- Creating more symmetry for uneven brows
- Lifts and tightens loose skin that makes your brow appear low and saggy
- Boosts your self-confidence
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines in the brow, forehead, and outer corners of the eyes
- Raises the outer third of the brow to promote a more arched, alert appearance
- Smooths crow’s feet
- Promotes a more alert, happy appearance to tired, sad-looking eyes
- Shorter downtime than other techniques
Can a lateral brow lift be combined with other procedures?
Although effortlessly done as an individual procedure, a brow lift pairs perfectly with blepharoplasty or a facelift to lift multiple facial features at once. Looking to combine a temporal brow lift with non-surgical treatments, it fits well with Botox and other injectables, which can target the center of the brow and forehead, as the temporal lift does not touch this area on its own.
What scarring does a lateral brow lift generate?
The size of your incisions depends on your circumstances, your goals and needs, and the complexity of your lift. Most commonly, incisions for a temporal brow lift are hidden slightly beyond the hairline. Although the exact appearance of post-surgery scars is unpredictable after surgery, Dr. Kaplan hides lateral lift scars well. Scarring is inevitable with any surgical brow lift, as it is impossible to leave no scars after cutting and removing the skin.
If you are considering a lateral brow lift to accomplish your cosmetic goals, schedule a consultation with New Jersey facial plastic surgeon Dr. Kaplan today to ensure you are a suitable candidate and get started on your path to confidence.