What Can I Expect the Recovery from My Brow Lift to Be Like?
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A brow lift addresses the upper third of your face, restoring eyebrows to a more youthful position and addressing wrinkles in the forehead. Recovery from a brow lift is manageable and should be taken seriously. Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to make recovery as comfortable and effective as possible.
These instructions will include:
- How to take proper care of the surgical sites and drains.
- What medications to take and how to take them.
- Common concerns you should look out for concerning your health and the surgical site.
- Follow-up instructions.
Make sure you clarify any questions you have on these instructions with your surgeon. Some questions you may want to ask before your surgery are:
- Will there be dressings or bandages, and when can they be removed?
- Will I need medications? When should I take them and for how long?
- If there will be stitches, when will they be removed?
- When should I come back again to receive follow-up care?
- When can I return to my normal activities?
After your brow lift procedure, you will have a head dressing on for two days. This is done to reduce bruising and swelling. In some cases, you may have a thin tube to drain any excess fluid. As you recover, keep your head elevated. Be sure not to engage in strenuous activity until released to do so by your surgeon. Even if the surgical area is sore, don’t use heat to treat the pain.
Many patients do not experience significant pain during their brow lift recovery. You may, however, experience a headache, and a sensation of tightness and scalp numbness. Take the prescribed pain medication as directed if you need it. You may also see bruising or swelling which will usually peak the third or fourth day, but can remain present for a few weeks. After a couple of days have passed, you should have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to evaluate your healing and remove dressings and the drain Make sure you follow all your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. The brow lift may be slightly overcorrected early on as it will relax a little bit over time. If an endoscopic brow lift is performed, a bioabsorbable device called an Endotine™ may be used to maintain brown position during the first year after surgery.
Your incisions should begin to heal more strongly after 10 to 14 days. Sutures and staples in the hair-bearing scalp will usually be removed around this time. After the second week, you can begin resuming normal activities. You will likely still experience numbness and tightness, along with minor swelling. This should be fairly unnoticeable to others. If you wish, you can camouflage any remaining bruising with cosmetics. Even though you may return to work and other activities after a week or two, do not do any heavy lifting or straining. Keep your activity level light. You can return to driving within a week if you have discontinued your narcotic pain medication, but use discretion to ensure that you can to drive safely.
Full recovery may take several months. Some numbness or tightness may remain during this time. As you return to more active exercise, take it slowly. Begin workouts at half-intensity. If any activity causes discomfort or pain, avoid it until you are feeling better. Know your limits. After about six months, you should be seeing the final effects of your brow lift taking shape.
Dr. Paul Angelchik, M.D. is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in the Phoenix area. He specializes in many cosmetic procedures, including brow lifts. In every year since 1996, he has been continuously named to Castle & Connolly’s Top Doctors in America. To learn more about the brow lift, contact our office today and schedule your consultation.