The ups and downs of a browlift
Eyebrows play a vital role in non-verbal communication as they convey thoughts, feelings and emotions. Various expressions can mean different things all conveyed without a single spoken word. Over time, ageing causes the brows to drop and hang over the upper eyelids and permanent lines that develop make the face appear tired and older. The descent of brows is usually one of the first signs of ageing.
A browlift or browplasty is an effective way to return youth to the face and draw attention to your eyes. If you believe that your face looks older than you feel because your eyebrows are beginning to sag, then a browlift may be the ideal procedure for you.
Before the surgery
Before you go under the knife, you will have a consultation with Dr Paul Gerarchi who will analyse your facial features, discuss your desires and formulate a specific plan to help you attain your goals. This unique plan will address your personal needs while also ensuring that your expectations of the procedure align with what is possible for you. Anti-wrinkle treatments may also be recommended during this time as they have to ability to decrease the pressure that your muscles place on your brow following your surgery.
Dr Gerarchi will also review your medical history and determine if there are any medications or supplements that need to be discontinued to avoid complications. It is vital that you quit smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery, as smoking increases the risk of complications and also slows down the healing process.
You will receive a prescription for all the medications you will need after the surgery beforehand so that you can be prepared and have them ready after the procedure. It is best to plan to have someone collect you and stay with you the night of your surgery.
If it is just the outer portions of your brows that are affected, Dr Gerarchi may recommend a temporal browlift which can be performed under local anaesthesia.
It is an ideal option for patients who are looking for a mild to moderate lift along the outer portion of the eyebrows. It also works for those who have a lateral brow that is flat or sloping downward but a central brow that does not require elevation.
This is the most commonly performed procedure. An endoscopic browlift is done through 4 or 5 minute incisions made behind the hairline where they will not be visible. It is through these cuts that a fibreoptic camera is inserted, allowing Dr Gerarchi to reposition the brow to a higher and more youthful location. This procedure is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but can be performed under sedation in select patients.
It is interesting to know that men’s eyebrows naturally run straight across the eyebrow. For this reason, when treating males, Dr Gerarchi takes care to return the brows to their more youthful position while ensuring not to go too high up as this will cause the brows to look feminine and overdone.
After the surgery
Patients are always pleased to discover that the results of a browlift can be so long-lasting and dramatic, that regular touch-up treatments are unnecessary. Obviously there will be a recovery period after the surgery but it is generally shorter than that for most other procedures.
It is normal to have a ‘surprised’ look a few weeks after surgery due to swelling but this is only temporary and the brow will descend to its more youthful position once the swelling subsides. Swelling and bruising that occurs after surgery usually disappears within one week, though residual swelling may take a few weeks to completely fade. Some pain is to be expected after the procedure, though most patients experience far less discomfort than they had initially anticipated. Dr Gerarchi will also prescribe pain medication to manage any pain and make recovery more comfortable.