Brow Lift

What to Expect

  • Anesthesia: General
  • Length of surgery: 1-2 hours
  • Outpatient/inpatient: Outpatient
  • Adjunct procedures: Blepharoplasty, Facelift, Neck Lift
  • Recovery: 1-2 weeks

The passage of time affects our facial appearance and some sagging, droop or heaviness commonly occurs in the brow region and upper eyelids. In addition, individuals who have a relatively low brow position naturally, even at a young age, may be unhappy with an appearance that says they are tired, angry or sad. In these cases, a forehead or brow lift can produce a positive and pleasant change.

A brow lift procedure involves lifting the forehead and brow to a more optimal position. The lifting also tends to “open up” the area around the eyes to reveal a more youthful and attractive appearance.

Contact Edina Plastic Surgery today to learn more about brow lift surgery in Minnesota. During your consultation, your board-certified plastic surgeon will discuss the ideal technique for your concerns and desired results, as well as what will suit you best based on your hairline and facial structure.

Personalizing Your Procedure

Sometimes patients will request a consult for one procedure and actually will benefit more from a different approach. Other times, combining procedures is the best way to achieve the patient’s desired results. A consultation with one of our board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeons can help you determine what is needed to reach your goals.

Brow Lift vs. Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty, commonly known as an eyelid lift, restores a more youthful appearance to the eye area by tightening the skin on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. This is a corrective procedure that addresses both cosmetic concerns (hooding, drooping, heavy bags) and functional concerns (skin irritation, headaches, reduced field of view). The sole focus of blepharoplasty is the eyelids.

A brow lift focuses on the forehead, but it can also have benefits for the eyes. For some patients, a drooping brow leads to excess skin and hooding of the upper eyelids. Lifting the brows can indirectly alleviate the heavy feel and appearance of the upper eyelid skin and create a more open, alert expression.

The key determinant here is whether the core issue is excess eyelid skin (blepharoplasty) or a descending brow (brow lift). For patients with a mix of concerns, a brow lift and blepharoplasty can be combined.

Brow Lift vs. Facelift

Your choice of facial rejuvenation surgery will depend on your primary signs of aging and the results you want. Facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) is designed to correct the structural changes associated with aging in the lower region of the face. Though the name “facelift” might lend itself to the belief that it addresses the entire face, facelift techniques do not address the eye area or forehead.

There are two primary types of facelifts: the classic or traditional facelift and the modified or mini facelift. At Edina Plastic Surgery, we are known for our Full Focus Facelift, which includes a skincare regimen before and after the procedure to optimize the results. 

If your concerns are primarily located in the upper third of your face, a brow lift or blepharoplasty may be the most suitable procedure. If they are in the lower two-thirds of your face, a facelift, possibly combined with a neck lift, may be the best choice for your needs. You may decide to combine a brow lift with a facelift for comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

Brow Lift vs. Botox

The Botox brow lift is an increasingly popular procedure that creates more defined brows and a more awake-looking eye area with only a few strategically placed injections. By relaxing the muscles that pull the brows down, the muscle that pulls upward has no resistance. This causes the brows to lift for as long as the neurotoxin remains active, usually around three and four months. The result is subtle but impactful.

If you are deciding between a surgical brow lift and a Botox brow lift, consider your desired results and the longevity of the procedures. As a general rule, surgical procedures can achieve more dramatic and longer-lasting results than nonsurgical procedures. Patients who choose brow lift surgery often do so because they prefer the lasting improvements and the convenience of a one-and-done procedure. 

Patients who opt for Botox tend to like that the treatments are short, minimally invasive and require no downtime. A Botox brow lift can also be a good way to “test drive” a new look before committing to surgery.

Deciding If Brow Lift Surgery Is Right for You

A furrowed or drooping brow can create an expression that doesn’t match the youthful energy you feel inside. With a brow lift, our plastic surgeons can:

  • Elevate the eyebrows
  • Tighten loose forehead skin
  • Enhance the arch of the eyebrows
  • Reduce the appearance of sagging upper eyelids, especially lateral hooding
  • Correct brow asymmetry


If you are considering brow lift surgery in the Minneapolis area and are in good general health, you may be an excellent candidate. Non-smokers are the best candidates for surgery. However, surgery can still be safe if smoking cessation is achieved for the recommended period before and after the procedure. Candidates must also have no medical conditions that could pose a risk during surgery or recovery, and have realistic expectations for what a brow lift can accomplish.

The Brow Lift Procedure

Brow lift surgeries are typically performed under general anesthesia, or occasionally under local anesthesia with sedation. The procedure is conducted in our fully accredited and certified surgery center where your safety, comfort and privacy are our top priorities. No overnight stay is required.

Endoscopic Brow Lift

The latest and most common technique is the endoscopic brow lift. This procedure involves making three to five small incisions behind the hairline. An endoscope (a flexible, tubular instrument) with a camera is inserted and used to visualize the surgery location. The brow is lifted to an optimal position and secured internally. The endoscopic brow lift is a less invasive approach for patients who want to rejuvenate their brows without significant downtime or scarring.

Open Brow Lift

Sometimes the open brow lift technique is more appropriate, especially in patients with very heavy brows. In this procedure, a longer incision is utilized, which extends across the top of the scalp or along the front hairline. Excess scalp or forehead skin can then be removed, lifting the brow. This approach involves more downtime and scarring, but it is the most powerful technique for achieving brow elevation.

Temporal Brow Lift

For patients seeking elevation of only the outer brow, the temporal technique may be used. The incision for a temporal brow lift is placed behind the hairline in the temple region, then the outer portion of the brow is lifted and anchored into its new position. The temporal lift is best for patients whose lateral brow is flat or downsloping.

When your brow lift procedure is complete, you will relax in our recovery room until the anesthesia wears off and you are cleared to go home. Your surgeon will provide you with aftercare instructions and medications for pain management. Our team can be reached at any time should questions or concerns arise during your recovery.

What to Expect During Brow Lift Recovery

Complications are very rare with these procedures; however, there are risks with all surgeries. Loss of some sensation along or just behind the incisions is common initially, but usually temporary. It may be permanent in some patients. Weakness of the muscles that lift the brow is a rare complication; this will also resolve gradually in most patients. Scars are inevitable, but special surgery techniques mean they are usually well hidden and become imperceptible. Loss of hair growth along the scar can occasionally occur.

Most patients experience head pain for 12 to 24 hours after the procedure. Some bruising and swelling, usually around the eyes, is also typical and generally resolves in one or two weeks. Occasionally, more prolonged swelling and bruising can occur. Keeping your head elevated is essential during this time to reduce fluid buildup from swelling and encourage faster healing. Using a physical SPF 30 or higher and wearing a hat when outdoors are recommended to avoid darkening of any scarring. 

Most patients can be back to work within seven to 10 days. By four months, full recovery is reached.

Brow Lift Results

Brow lift surgery elevates the brow line, and, through a secondary effect, may minimize the heavy look and feel of excess upper eyelid skin. Our brow lift patients enjoy a more refreshed and pleasant expression and say they feel more confident and youthful.

Although aging will continue, and your brow position may gradually descend over time, the results of a brow lift are long-lasting. You will be able to maintain your refreshed look for years into the future, especially if you are diligent about limiting sun exposure and living a healthy lifestyle. If brow drooping recurs through natural facial aging, you may be a candidate for a repeat brow lift.

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