Brow Lift

Brow lift for high forehead must use specific techniques to prevent further elevating the hairline. For this reason the standard method does not work for patients with such “feature.”


Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says the coronal brow lift, which is today’s gold standard, uses an incision that runs from ear to ear across the top of the head. While the technique provides the most elevation by removing the excess skin from the hair-bearing area, it ultimately raises the patient’s hairline to about half an inch.


brow lift for high forehead

Fortunately, newer brow lift techniques eliminate this key disadvantage, says Dr. Smiley.


In one of his Snapchat videos, he has demonstrated a modified technique of the coronal brow lift. Instead of placing the incision behind the scalp, he positioned it precisely at the hairline so the resulting scar is perfectly concealed by the hairline-forehead junction.


The aforementioned technique is called trichophytic and it removes the excess skin from the forehead, causing no direct hair loss. And if needed, the surgeon can also move forward the hairline; hence, it is also a good procedure in patients seeking revision brow to correct over-elevation created during the initial surgery.


Aside from proper scar placement, Dr. Smiley highlights the importance of using a serrated incision pattern (it resembles small Vs connected to each other), as opposed to a straight one, during trichophytic technique. This technique not only promotes “favorable” scarring but also allows the hair to regrow naturally.


To further conceal the scar that is positioned precisely at the forehead-hairline junction, Dr. Smiley says there should be no or very little tension on the skin. For this reason he always closes the wound in several layers, with the deepest having the most tension, which gradually decreases as they reach the skin surface.


In the video, he says that without tension on the skin, the scar tends to heal better and fade quicker.


Another possible way to perform brow lift for high forehead is to use an endoscopic technique. Four to five small incisions behind the hairline are usually created in order to insert an endoscope or tiny camera so the surgeon can see the underlying anatomy.


However, the endoscopic brow lift only has a minimal lifting effect because it does not remove any loose skin, i.e., it only elevates the forehead through internal fixation. For this reason it is generally suitable for younger patients aged between 30s and 40s.

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List of Brow Lift FAQ

Posted By on Oct 14, 2016 in Botox, Brow Lift

Brow lift uses incisions behind the scalp or in front of the hairline to lift the sagging brow, soften the forehead creases, and eliminate the “11” lines between the brows. Occasionally, it is combined with other procedures such as eyelid lift and dermal filler or fat graft injection for additional rejuvenating effects.


Experts at the California Surgical Institute provide a list of brow lift FAQ to help patients decide if the surgery is right for them.


brow lift faq

Brow Lift FAQ:

  1. Question: Am I a good candidate for the surgery?

Answer: The ideal patients should be healthy, non-smoker, and have realistic goals and expectations. Hence, the surgery entails a strict patient selection process to avoid risks and to deliver satisfying results.


  1. Q: What are the preparations involved?

A: A good rule of thumb is to avoid blood-thinners (aspirin and some herbal supplements and vitamins) and tobacco products; and to achieve one’s optimal health through lifestyle changes and/or medications.


  1. Q: Does it result in visible scar?

A: While brow lift comes in several variations, all efforts are made to ensure that the resulting scars are behind the scalp or exactly along the hairline for their optimal concealment. Simply put, a properly executed procedure should not result in visible reminders of plastic surgery.


  1. Q: Is it possible to perform brow lift at the same time as other facial rejuvenation surgeries?

A: Yes. In fact, brow lift is routinely combined with eyelid lift, fat graft, or some type of facelift. Nevertheless, it remains in the patient’s best interest to keep the operation under six hours to minimize bleeding and surgical trauma.


  1. Q: What are the risks involved?

A: Poor healing, less than optimal scar appearance, residual sagging, surprised or unnatural look, infection, and bleeding are some of the risks. However, a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs the surgery on a regular basis can avoid or at least control these risks through proper patient selection, surgical execution, and close monitoring during the initial healing stage.

Serious complications are extremely rare when the surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon.


  1. Q: How long is the recovery period?

A: Recovery differs from patient to patient; however, “social recovery” or looking presentable in public typically happens after 10-14 days.


  1. Q: Can Botox serve as a feasible alternative?

A: Yes, provided the patient only has mild brow descent and accepts that she will need 3-4 “touch-ups” every year. But for individuals who want longer lasting effects and/or have significant soft tissue laxity, brow lift remains a better method than any type of non-surgical procedure.

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A brow lift forehead technique that uses a frontal hairline incision can provide impressive rejuvenating effects to the right patients, as suggested by leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.


In the past, brow lifts were typically performed with an ear-to-ear incision placed in the scalp. While this technique can elevate the forehead/brow and soften the wrinkles, in patients with a high forehead this could aggravate such appearance, hence they look odd after surgery.


brow lift forehead

To help would-be patients understand the benefits of brow lift forehead technique via frontal incision, Dr. Smiley has released a YouTube video showing how the surgery is accomplished.


In the video, Dr. Smiley says the relatively new brow lift technique favors patients with a high forehead because it allows him to shorten it through skin reduction and/or scalp advancement.


Contrary to popular belief, placing the incision exactly at the hairline does not lead to more visible scarring. For optimal scar camouflage, Dr. Smiley says he prefers a “zigzag” pattern, as opposed to a straight one, as the wound heals better, thereby leading to “favorable” scars—i.e., they are very hard to detect even by the patients.


To further promote favorable scarring, Dr. Smiley employs suturing techniques in which there is very minimal tension on the wound, thus allowing it to heal better and fade into imperceptible scar.


With the brow lift forehead technique, the renowned plastic surgeon says he is able to release the brow and the entire forehead skin, including the area above the bridge of the nose. To achieve a more natural result, he highlights the importance of lifting the tissue more laterally, as opposed to a “straight up” elevation.


By focusing on the lateral aspect of the forehead, he can reshape the tail end of the brow, which tends to droop with advancing age. Nevertheless, he says brow lift is a surgery by millimeter in a sense that the amount of elevation must be very precise to avoid surgical stigmata such as startled expression or overly tight appearance.

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Natural looking brow lift can be achieved with proper patient selection and surgical planning. Instead of just lifting the sagging brow, good surgeons know that reshaping it based on the underlying anatomies and gender is also critical to produce great results.


Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says that botched or overdone brow lifts typically result from lifting the medial brow excessively, or elevating it despite that its original position is already acceptable.


natural looking brow lift

According to several studies, the ideal medial brow position is at the level or slightly below the bony orbital rim especially in men who need to preserve their “heavy” and masculine brow appearance.


For most brow lift patients, only the lateral part of the brow or “tail end” is slightly elevated, leaving most of its parts to their original position, Dr. Smiley further explains.


Another parameter to produce natural looking brow lift results, he adds, is to consider the beauty ideals of men and women. For instance, feminine brows are generally accepted to appear more arched and higher at the tail end, while male brows are more horizontally oriented and have a shorter distance between the upper eye crease and the bottom part of the brow.


Should the patients need the “inside” of their brow to be elevated, it must be done in a very conservative manner to avoid the perennially startled appearance or the quizzical expression, says Dr. Smiley.


A good number of brow lift patients can benefit from minimally invasive procedures, which may involve 3-5 small incisions behind the hairline to reshape and elevate the drooping brow. Another viable option is to place two concealed scars in the temple area, a technique that only lifts the outer 1/3 of the brow.


Instead of brow lift, Dr. Smiley suggests that sometimes an upper eyelid lift is a better option, particularly if the patients’ aesthetic goal is to open up the eyes. In this procedure, a fine scar is placed within the natural eye crease to tighten the loose skin and possibly remove some excess fat.


Dr. Smiley believes that a good number of botched brow lifts were patients who did not need them in the first place and should have received an upper eyelid lift instead.


While Botox may produce some of the brow lift’s results—i.e., this non-surgical procedure can also reshape and elevate the brow—it requires regular maintenance that adds up to the cost, he says.

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Brow lift for young patients, i.e., aged between 20 and 35, is quite uncommon since the procedure is primarily designed to lift the sagging brow and correct the horizontal forehead creases and “11” lines between the brows, which are age-related problems.


However, some young people are born with lower eyebrow position that could make brow lift a possible option. Nonetheless, most plastic surgeons would recommend non-surgical or “temporary” solution to at least give them an idea of how much elevation that would suit them before resorting to a more permanent surgery.

brow lift for young patients

Photo Credit: Ambro at


Botox injection, which could be a good alternative to brow lift, is not just used to elevate the saggy brows; in the hands of a great injector it can also reshape the brow in a way that it “respects” the patient’s underlying anatomies and gender, according to California Surgical Institute website.


The effects of Botox can last four to six months, so the patient must accept that she requires regular maintenance to preserve her appearance.


Whether brow lift or Botox is used, the goal is to create gender-appropriate results. In general, female brow appears higher than the bony rim of the eye socket and is more arched compared to male brow.


Male brow, meanwhile, typically lies at the same level or even slightly lower than the bony rim of the eye socket.


Just like Botox, brow lift not only elevates the saggy brow, but also reshapes them in a way that the results look natural and proportionate to the rest of the facial features. However, a good number of patients only require the lateral part of their brow, or “tail end,” to be lifted.


Only a small number of patients experience significant medial/inner brow descent, as suggested by some Los Angeles plastic surgeons who advocate the use of temporal brow lift in which a small incision behind the hairline is used to lift the tail end of the brow.


Proponents of this minimally invasive technique suggest that it is an ideal brow lift for young patients who generally require a conservative elevation of their brow’s tail end, which in turn could also minimize the fullness in their upper eyelid thus leading to a more rejuvenated appearance.


To determine the most viable option, any form of facial rejuvenation procedure entails proper patient selection, honest discussion between the surgeons and patients, and comprehensive physical exam.

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Brow lift Endotine provides the same benefits as the standard technique: elimination of the forehead creases and the “11” lines between the eyebrows, and correction of the sagging brow.

In essence, brow lift Endotine pertains to the use of an absorbable implant that holds and supports the forehead tissue in its new, rejuvenated position, according to California Surgical Institute website.

brow lift endotine

The Endotine device has multiple spikes to hold the tissue before it dissolves 30-60 days after implantation, enough time for the tissue to create strong adhesions to the bone, leading to longer-lasting results.

Proponents of this device feel that it is more effective in spreading the tension over a wider area (compared with sutures and permanent screws), resulting in lower risk of “support” failure that could occur during the initial healing stage when the body has not yet formed a strong adhesion between the tissue and bone.

And because Endotine is derived from plant materials, it dissolves naturally in the body, leading to significantly reduced risk of adverse reaction.

While opinions vary from surgeon to surgeon, some doctors suggest that Endotine is particularly helpful in patients whose main goal is to lift and reshape the sagging brow in a way that it respects their gender, cosmetic goals, and underlying anatomies, particularly the supraorbital rim.

The supraorbital rim refers to the bony margin located above the eye socket. For female brow, it is generally accepted that it should lie slightly above this ridge, while for male brow it is ideally positioned at its level or slightly below it to preserve the masculine appearance.

Also, female brow is more arched, while male brow is more horizontally oriented and appears somewhat “heavier.”

Endotine may be used during the standard or full brow lift technique in which a long incision is placed at the ear’s level and continues toward the top of the head. While this provides the most lifting effect, it can aggravate the appearance of a large forehead.

Nowadays, a growing number of surgeons prefer endoscopically-assisted brow lift (with or without Endotine or other similar internal support) in which 3-6 short incisions behind the hairline are used to accomplish the same goals as the standard technique, minus the alteration of forehead height and the long continuous scar behind the hairline.

According to anecdotal reports, the results of brow lift Endotine typically last 10-12 years.

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