In this time of busy schedules and immediate gratification, many people seeking a more youthful appearance are leaning towards office procedures such as Botox and fillers, and minimally invasive, yet effective cosmetic surgery with less down time. An endoscopic forehead lift is one such minimally invasive surgery that reduces a furrowed heavy brow while also lifting sagging skin from around the eyes, resulting in a refreshed appearance.
An endoscopic eyebrow and forehead lift is an outpatient procedure, performed safely under sedation and local anesthetic. With the aid of a tiny video camera, microdissecting instruments are placed through small incisions behind the hairline to avoid visible scars. The forehead skin is lifted and the muscle that contributes to the frown lines between the brows and horizontal lines across the forehead are cut, creating a smoother, tighter appearing forehead region. Secondarily, the eyebrow region is also lifted upwards, and redundant heavy eyelid tissue is often minimized. After the forehead is lifted upward into its new position, it is fixated to an implant that is absorbable, and placed behind the hairline. If extra sagging skin remains on the upper eyelid, this can also be removed by an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, at the same time.
Once the incisions are closed, ice packs are applied and used faithfully for the next 48 hours. Bruising, swelling and discomfort should be minimal. Most patients do not need to take pain medication after the first or second day following surgery. Patients are asked to rest for the first 48 hours, and many return to work the following week. Patients can usually return to full activity after two weeks. The majority of the swelling resolves after the first few weeks with residual healing taking a few months.
The results of endoscopic surgery, like all cosmetic surgery is variable. There can be partial return of function of the forehead frowning muscles, so surgery may not eliminate the need for Botox to reduce the frown line between the eyes. Infection, scarring, over or under correction are other potential risks. Though the risk is low, damage to the facial nerve can result in weakness of the muscle of facial expression and an eyebrow droop. Surgeons must be well trained in this procedure and have an expertise in facial anatomy. They must also be comfortable performing surgery around the eyes, and be mindful of “overlifting”, which can cause exposure of the eyes and severe dry eyes. Minimally invasive forehead lift is not for everyone. Some patients with a very high forehead may prefer a procedure that lifts the forehead, while also shortening it, but requires a larger scar.
Endoscopic forehead surgery can be performed alone or safely in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation surgeries. It is an excellent alternative for upper face aesthetic surgery. For the dramatic result it provides, it is an effective means of facial rejuvenation with less recovery time for the active patient of the new millennium.