Knife Styles

Browlift

They might not be as famous as facelifts, but that's all about to change.

New, less invasive techniques have meant a 35 per cent increase in brow lifts over the past year. But what does the procedure involve?

What is it?

Focusing on the area above the eyebrows, the brow lift aims to reposition the muscles and tissues of the forehead that naturally droop with age.

What can it do for you?

Most commonly carried out on 40-60-year-olds, brow lifts create a younger looking upper face. As we age, the brow droops closer to the eyes, often creating a heavy, tired look. A brow lift can reposition this skin and open up the area.

To get an idea of what this might look like, place your hands by the side of your eyebrows and gently pull up. You'll notice, however, that nothing happens to the vertical creases between your brows as you do this - that's why most surgeons suggest Botox after surgery to fill in leftover lines.

The procedure

While some surgeons still carry out a brow lift by cutting a big headband-like scar across the scalp (known as a coronal lift), brow lifts are increasingly being carried out using keyhole surgery.

The surgeon will put a series of small cuts in the scalp at the level of the hairline. They then go in through these cuts to lift the brow muscles and tissue and reposition them higher on the brow bone.

Surgery lasts between one and two hours. As it's minimally invasive, many surgeons do keyhole lifts under 'twilight anaesthetic', which leaves the patient drowsy, but not unconscious.

Cost

Around £3,000-£6,000.

Recovery time

The keyhole entry system has one of the quickest recovery times in facial surgery. A patient can be back to normal after a few days and the stitches are likely to come out after a week.

Recovery takes longer with the coronal technique, which is also more painful. The head has to be elevated for two to three days and swelling can be experienced for a week or more.

What can go wrong?

A brow lift raises a hairline, which means that women with high foreheads aren't always good candidates. Also, an overly aggressive surgeon can raise the brow too high, resulting in a surprised look.

In most cases, though, the only real issue is that it could cause numbness of the scalp around the incisions or, in the case of the coronal lift, around the whole scar.

In keyhole surgery this normally only lasts a few weeks, but with coronal lifts it can last six months and occasionally it's permanent.

How long does it last?

The effects of a coronal brow lift last 10 years or longer. The endoscopic [keyhole] brow lift doesn't always last as well, so the entire procedure may have to be repeated in around five years' time.

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