What is a browlift?

The level of our brow can change over time due to the forehead skin descending, forehead muscles altered and the brow therefore descends.  A browlift is a surgical procedure designed to adjust the eyebrow position. It is often part of a total facial procedure including facelift, necklift, eyelid surgery and other ancillary procedures.

Traditionally, the operation was done via an incision across the top of the head called a bicoronal incision. The operation is now commonly performed using much smaller incisions with a fiberoptic camera (keyhole surgery). This has resulted in less scarring, less hair loss and less numbness behind the scar. The forehead skin and brow are lifted and repositioned and the frown line muscles are weakened.

The operation is performed by our experienced plastic surgeon under general anaesthesia and can be performed as an inpatient or on a day surgery basis.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Who is a candidate?

If you have a descending forehead or brows or deep vertical furrows between the eyes you may be a candidate for a brow lift. Patients commonly complain that their eyes are heavy, tired and closed looking. This appearance is usually a combined problem of eyebrow descent and ptosis of the upper eyelid skin. In many cases an acceptable result can be obtained by either brow lift or eyelid surgery alone. However, in other cases, both may be required to get the desired outcome to the forehead and upper eyelids.

Brow Lift Photos

These before and after photos are of patients that have had surgery performed by Dr Layt. These patients have consented to the photos being shown. These are actual photos and have not been altered or digitally enhanced. Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient.

bna-sample Before
bna-sample After

What can you expect after the operation?

A browlift is a minimally invasive operation with oral medication easily controlling the discomfort.

Staples are used to close the wounds as they cause less risk of hair loss. The head will be wrapped in bandages which will be removed in 24 to 48 hrs. You will develop black eyes which will disappear in a few days. Staples are removed in 10 days and most swelling and bruising is usually gone at that time.

What are the potential risks and complications?

Surgery is not an exact science. Incisions and scars are part of any surgery and the location and extent of the incisions will be discussed with you. Every effort is made by the surgeon to minimise scarring. Scars will fade over time, but they are permanent. They can also become hypertrophic or keloid. Scars vary from person to person and are related to each individual’s skin type, genetics and the ability of their skin to heal.

Every surgical procedure involves certain risks and complications (as per the ASPS brochure) including, but not limited to:

Asymmetry is evident physically in every person.  No two sides of the body are ever exactly symmetrical in shape, position or size and the surgeon will make every effort to achieve as close to symmetry as possible but some asymmetry is normal.

Delayed Healing, Infection and Suture Reactions can all be possible healing issues and may require antibiotics or in some cases surgical exploration.

Bleeding, Haematoma or Seroma Collections may resolve themselves but, in some cases may require further surgery.

Loss of Sensation and Numbness may also be experienced. In most cases this will improve over time on its own. In some cases this can be permanent.

Bruising and Swelling may also be a short term effect from surgery and will usually settle in one to two weeks.

Allergies to dressings, medical lotions, sutures or other materials can occur with some patients. You will be advised to cease the use of the dressing, lotion or material that is causing the reaction. In some cases anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed.

Breathing Difficulties may be due to a general anaesthetic or breathing tube during the operation which has caused some swelling, noisy breathing or discomfort.

Blood Clots can also occur in some surgeries and may require urgent treatment and hospitalisation.

Pain thresholds vary from patient to patient. This may lead to different pain management and/or different recovery times to resume normal activities.

Achieving excellent results with minimal risk is a joint effort. It is important to disclosed to the surgeon and clinic and understand the following:

Full disclosure of your medical history including: allergies, personal, physical and mental history, previous surgeries, current medications and co-morbidities (including but not limited to, smoking, vaping, diabetes, prescription and illegal drug addictions, blood or heart disease, obesity or anorexia).

Co-morbidities may impact on outcome and healing post surgery.

Smoking, vaping, or taking recreational drugs must be ceased in the 6 weeks prior to some operations and during the healing phase. Failure to do so may increase the risk of complications, decrease your healing ability and affect your surgical outcome.

You should not take aspirin based prescription drugs 14 days prior to surgery and during the healing phase of the operation unless advised otherwise by the surgeon.

As per the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), all non-rebatable (cosmetic) procedures require a validated screening of Body Dysmorphia to be undertaken.

If Dr Layt is concerned about your mental state or physical state prior to the procedure, he may request evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist, general practitioner or other specialist. This referral is to assess your suitability, increased risks during surgery or any underlying physical or psychological problems which may affect your recovery or mental health.

In some cases this may require surgery to be postponed or cancelled by the doctor in his primary role to consider your care and personal well-being.

All surgery carries risks and it is important to understand these.

Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.

Specific Pre-Operative Instructions

WASHING:   Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery paying particular attention to the ear region and hair.  This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.

PRODUCTS:  Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing.  Remove all jewellery.

CLOTHING:   Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear.  A shirt with a button or zipper opening is ideal for removal.

HAIR:   If you have long hair it should be tied up in a pony tail using a simple elastic band.  This will keep it out of the way during surgery.

FASTING:  You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please speak with your physician to check if this can be taken before the 6 hour fasting period or after your procedure.

SMOKING:   Smoking and vaping increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6-8 weeks prior to surgery.

MEDICATION:  If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery.  They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery.  Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin 2 weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medication. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease medication. *This is not an all inclusive list*.

Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine.  Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely effect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery.  Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.

ADMINISTRATION:   Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil.  Each theatre complex has its own procedures.  We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE”    specific to the surgery centre you are attending.  If you have any queries about this or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5597 4100.

Specific Post-Operative Instructions

POSITION:  Resting with your head elevated or being in the upright position will help to decrease swelling during the postoperative period.

DRESSINGS:  Initial bulky dressings are usually removed a day or two after surgery. No further dressings are needed. You will be instructed to clean the suture line and apply ointment.

SUTURES/STAPLES:  These are usually removed after 6 – 10 days.

ACTIVITY:  You may be up and around the house as soon as you feel able. Do not do anything that requires straining or heavy exercise for at least 10 – 14 days.

SHOWERING:  You may shower or bathe as soon as the dressings are removed. You may use your regular shampoo.

ICE PACKS:  You will receive ice packs in your post operate pack. Use these to help settle to bruising and swelling.

HAIRDRESSER:  Avoid colouring your hair for 5 – 6 weeks post operatively. You may have your hair washed and combed, but have your hairdresser avoid very hot water, curlers, etc. because you may have some patchy numbness.

TED STOCKINGS:  You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.

MEDICATION:  Take your pain relief and anti-biotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.