Brow Lift Recovery/Results
You will feel some tightness when the anesthetic wears off. A turban-like head wrap will be placed following the procedure and is left in place until the first morning after your surgery. Dr. Velargo does not use drains. Pain will be minimal, but the constrictive nature of the head wrap may be uncomfortable to some patients. The majority of our patients find this very tolerable, however.
Swelling, bruising, and soreness are to be expected after a brow lift, but post-operative instructions and recommended medications will be given to ease any discomfort. You must be willing to accept temporary swelling, lumpiness, and discoloration, which occur following brow lifting. Though usually visually disconcerting, most people feel it is a negligible inconvenience to pay for the physical and psychological improvement they experience.
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Parts of the scalp will feel weak or “numb” after the brow lift operation. This is to be expected and is usually temporary, although it may take several weeks or months for this to subside. The top of the head may itch or exhibit numbness for 6-12 months.
Frequent application of cool compresses for the first 72 hours helps to speed the healing process along, as well as application of topical Arnica Montana for any visible bruising.
Incisions are cared for 4-6 times per day by cleansing the incision lines with hydrogen peroxide and applying bacitracin ointment. For dark-haired individuals, Dr. Velargo recommends cleansing the incisions with witch hazel to avoid bleaching the hair with hydrogen peroxide.
All sutures and staples are removed at one week. Most patients take 7-10 days off from work after a brow lift and can exercise within 3 weeks.
You will be advised to sleep with the head of the bed elevated or in a recliner for 2-4 weeks post-op. This helps to minimize swelling. The most common cause of pain post-operatively is not from the surgery itself but from improper posture while sleeping on the back. The hips, back, and head should be in a straight line whenever you lie down.
With some make-up, your hair worn down, and thick-rimmed sunglasses, you should be able to go out in public in a few days with minimal attention drawn to yourself.
There may be thinning of the hair in areas adjacent to the suture lines in the temple or forehead. This can sometimes be avoided by closely adhering to the instructions about shampooing and cleaning the suture lines. Should a problem arise, we will advise you on any additional treatments. This usually occurs because the trauma of surgery “shocks” the hair follicles. The hair generally re-grows over time.
The incisions are designed in such a manner that the hair should grow right through the scars. Some crusting may occur around incision sites. We can recommend additional measures to soften them, should crusting or thickening occur. Keep in mind that all incisions are designed by Dr. Velargo to minimize visible scarring; so, most scars are easily camouflaged by makeup and hairstyling.
After all stitches and/or clips have been removed, the scars will appear deep pink in color. There will be varying amounts of swelling in and around the scars themselves. With the passage of time, the pink should become white, the firmness of the scar should soften, and they should become less noticeable. Each individual varies with respect to healing, but it takes approximately one year for these changes to occur and for scars to “mature.”
As a rule, 80% of swelling is generally gone in 2 weeks, and 90% of swelling is generally gone by 2 months. So, please try not to evaluate the results of your surgery too soon.
How long do the results of a brow lift last?
The duration of the results achieved with a brow lift cannot always be accurately predicted. If forehead and brow drooping were severe, it will obviously take years before the condition becomes as bad as it was before surgery. If the natural degenerative process in the skin is occurring rapidly, wrinkling and drooping of the forehead will also occur more rapidly. This is precisely when “tuck-up” or “spot-welding” procedures are helpful.
A brow lift turns back the clock of the aging process, but it does not stop the ticking. Having said that, a patient will generally look forever younger than had they not had the procedure done at all. Any forehead or brow drooping seen in the post-operative period is a result of continued aging.
Had the surgery not been performed, the patient would have the “new” forehead drooping on top of the “old” forehead drooping, which was corrected at surgery. Tuck-ups help maintain a youthful appearance in the patient who chooses to have additional surgery. Tuck-ups are generally less extensive, less expensive, and quite effective. Dr. Velargo is experienced in performing revision brow lifting as well.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert brow lift surgery.