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Brow Lift Recovery – What to Expect

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Undergoing a brow lift is one of the most common procedures for older patients looking to achieve a younger, more rejuvenated appearance and, in extreme cases, to help with impaired vision. Brow lift surgery involves the repositioning and raising of the brow in order to restore the forehead, brow and bowline’s droopier, ‘hooded’ appearance, following years of natural ageing.

While you may be a suitable candidate for eyebrow lift surgery, it is not for everyone and there are several considerations to bear in mind before undergoing the procedure. Read on for specific information regarding the recovery process to help you decide whether it is the right sort of treatment for you.

Brow Lift Surgery

A brow lift can be carried out in several different ways. At Daniel Ezra’s clinic, he offers a full range of different techniques. These include:

1. Chemical brow lift with BoNT
2. Internal browpexy. This is a minimally invasive procedure which involves lifting of the brow at the same time as blepharoplasty, through the same incision and with no additional downtime.
3. Endoscopic brow lift which is less invasive, has a quicker recovery time and requires minimal incisions. However, endoscopic brow lift may not be suitable for all patients. Mr Ezra will explain the different options available and the pros and cons of each during initial consultation.
4. Temporal brow lift. This is performed behind the hairline and is effective at raising the lateral part of the brow.
5. Direct brow lift. This is a very powerful and effective technique requiring incisions just above the brow hairline

During an endoscopic brow lift, also referred to as keyhole brow lift, the eye surgeon makes between three and five small incisions behind the hairline, before inserting a small tube (endoscope) through. This has a tiny camera attached to it so that the surgeon can see clearly the areas which need to be lifted. The areas lifted are then held in place by stitches. The procedure generally takes between 1-2 hours, however, may take longer if undergoing other procedures, such as blepharoplasty, at the same time.

Direct brow lift surgery involves incisions over the brow. The sutures are removed after one week and the scar usually settles extremely well.


Brow lift procedures are performed as a day case, except for endo-brow which requires you to stay in the hospital overnight. Be sure to arrange for a close friend or relative to pick you up from the ward once you are discharged, as driving yourself or taking public transport is very risky.

As it is an invasive surgery, the recovery time is longer than other, non-surgical aesthetic treatments available. During consultation, your surgeon will discuss aftercare with you so that you are fully prepared for the recovery period. Recovery time will vary from person to person, but most patients will need to be off work for around 1-2 weeks in order to allow for an effective recovery.

There are several common instructions to follow during the post-surgery phase:

• Try to arrange for a friend or relative to be there to take care of you for the first night or two at home.
• Bandages should be worn for the first 24 hours
• Head needs to be elevated at all times for 48 hours at least. You can sleep upright with lots of pillows.
• Showering should not take place for the first 24 hours. After this, you can use a gentle baby shampoo, but be cautious with heat when drying and avoid styling products. It is better to dab gently with a soft towel to dry the scalp, hair and face.
• Avoid alcohol, aspirin and anti-inflammatories for 48 hours.
• Heavy lifting, vigorous exercise and sex should be avoided for the first few weeks. The patient should be mobile and take gentle walks in order to aid circulation.
• Stitches will need to be removed after 1-2 weeks, depending on how well the patient is healing.
• You should have stopped smoking at least six weeks before surgery, but you should continue this as smoking will slow down the healing process.

It is highly important to carefully follow your surgeon’s after-care instructions, as the recovery time and procedure’s success rate will depend upon your ability to do so. You must also be sure not to miss any arranged follow-up appointments with your surgeon so that they can check on your progress and make sure you are healing properly.

Is there any swelling, pain or numbness?

After surgery, you will be prescribed with pain relief, though brow lifts do not normally leave a patient in a lot of pain, however, there may be a slight degree of discomfort. This is most commonly in the form of itching of the scalp, particularly while the anaesthesia is wearing off, and patients must refrain from scratching the area.

It is normal to feel temporary numbness or loss of sensation in the scalp after the surgery and this will gradually return to normal after a couple of weeks. However, total numbness behind the incision area when open brow lifts are performed is usual, and this can continue for up to a year.

Swelling and bruising after surgery is very common, the severity of which will differ from patient to patient. You can apply cold ice packs (or frozen vegetables) to the surgical area for the first few days to further decrease swelling. After 4-5 days you should see a real improvement.

What about scarring?

The scarring left behind after your brow lift procedure will depend on the technique used by the surgeon, however, with all methods, incisions are strategically placed so that scars can be hidden well underneath the hairline or within a deep crease on the forehead. Under the endoscopic technique used most frequently by Daniel Ezra, the incisions are completely hidden by the hair.

Your surgeon will prescribe an ointment, to be applied as instructed, in order to minimise scarring.

Brow lift results

Results are visible right away and after time, swelling and scarring will fade. The final results of surgery should be noticeable after several months and most patients are exceptionally happy with their new look, although for the more minimally invasive procedures the degree of lift can be somewhat limited compared to the open approaches.

Although gravity will continue and natural ageing will take place, the results of your brow lift will be permanent and only mild ageing will show. You should make the most of your youthful appearance by continuing to apply a high SPF cream and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.