Restoring your forehead and upper face with the brow lift can produce a younger, more energetic, happier appearance. This procedure is frequently performed with other treatments to rejuvenate the face and eyes as a whole. Common surgeries include an eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty), lower eyelid lift (lower blepharoplasty), midface lift, or facelift (rhytidectomy).
As with any surgery, your first visit to the Chow Center for Facial Plastic Surgery will include a consultation with Dr. Chow so that you can thoroughly review your cosmetic concerns. You will also have a pre-operative evaluation with Dr. Chow and any testing or medical clearance that may be needed will be scheduled at that time. As always, you will have ample opportunity to ask any questions that arise even after your pre-operative visit with Dr. Chow by calling him and scheduling a follow up appointment.
For one to two weeks prior to your surgery, avoid any aspirin (or aspirin-containing products), as well as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Alleve), and other medications in this class. If you take any medications that affect your ability to clot (Coumadin/warfarin, Plavix, etc.), this will need to be addressed before surgery. You should refrain from tobacco products and alcohol in the week prior to surgery as well. These can affect your healing after surgery, and cause other problems, such as persistent redness of the skin.
Before surgery, you will be provided with prescriptions for any and all medications you will need after surgery. Please obtain these before surgery. Many patients also choose to take Arnica Montana, a natural supplement, which has been associated with decreased bruising. Arnica should be taken both before and after surgery in order to decrease the likelihood of bruising and also to shorten the duration of any bruising that does occur. Vitamin C both before and after surgery will help to promote healing.
The night before your brow lift, you will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. If you take medications on a daily basis, you should review these with the surgery center nurse who calls you one to two days before your procedure to see if and how you should take them.
You should plan to have someone bring you to, and pick you up from, the surgery center. Someone should be with you the night after your surgery.
Dr. Chow performs the majority of his brow lifts through the endoscopic technique in order to reduce the size of incisions (they are largely hidden within the hair, even for those with receding hair lines or significant hair loss) and minimize tissue injury. Other techniques are used in specific circumstances, such as the pre-trichial brow lift, in which the incision is located just at the hair line. These less common procedures will be discussed in detail with you before you choose to have a brow lift. Most of these procedures are performed with either “twilight” anesthesia or general anesthesia for your comfort and safety.
After arrival at the outpatient surgical facility, Dr. Chow will meet with you to review your procedure(s). He will also use a surgical marker to draw certain landmarks on your face. If you have long hair, it will not be cut or shaved; instead, hair bands will be used to keep the hair in place and out of the way during your procedure.
When you wake up after your brow lift, you will have a soft, bulky head wrap, which helps to reduce swelling right after surgery. You will likely have a single “ball” drain, which facilitates the removal of any excess fluid and helps to prevent infection or fluid collections. You will be able to return home following your procedure once the recovery room nurse has reviewed your post-operative instructions with you and ascertains that you are able to safely leave the facility.