Brow Lift Vs Forehead Lift: What's the Difference?

I know this seems like a silly question, but I see both terms used and am not sure if they're the same surgery...

Doctor Answers (32)

Forehead lifts and Brow lifts: what's the difference?

+3

Yes, I would agree this is very confusing and is often times used interchangeably.

FOREHEAD LIFT:

Forehead lifts are generally accomplished via incisions at the hairline or in the scalp. There are many different techniques which can be:

  1. under the skin and over the muscle (subcutaneous),
  2. under the muscle
  3. under the covering layer of the bone (subperiosteal)

Incisions can be:

  1. at the hairline or in the scalp using 2 inch incisions (limited open)
  2. extending across the enitre hairline or scalp (open pretrichal or coronal)
  3. using multiple small scalp incsions (endoscopic) from ear to ear

Goals:

  1. One can be to shorten the forehead and move the hairline forward to eliminate a high hairline.
  2. Another goal can be to actually lift the eyebrows to a higher location.

BROW LIFT:

A brow lift is any method which can elevate the brows. To some degree this includes the forehead lift but also includes several other approaches:

  1. Incisions directly across the middle of the forehead typically in a older male with deep creases and a receding hairline which makes hiding the incision in the scalp difficult.
  2. Immediately above the eyebrow (direct brow lift). Although this seems obvious it tends to leave a visible hairless scar.
  3. Incisions through the upper eyelid carried out at the time of upper lid tuck (trans-blepharoplasty brow lift). More often than not this does not really achieve significant lifting but keeps the eyebrow from drifing down with the eyelid procedure and is more of a brow pexy than a brow lift.

I hope this helps. I understand your confusion.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Forehead Lift vs. Browlift

+2

f there is a facial rejuvenation surgery that is over-recommended and often overdone these days, it is without question the browlift. Look no further than the celebrity photo magazines for pictures of stars who look like they have just sat down on a plate of tacks. The goal of aesthetic plastic surgery should be to make a person look better and more youthful, not merely different, and certainly not as though one is perpetually surprised. My goal is to provide my patients with results which appear natural, and an unnatural-appearing brow is a dead giveaway that a person has had facial plastic surgery.

I rarely see a patient that has such significant brow descent that I recommend elevation of the entire brow. However, I frequently see browlift patients for whom conservative elevation of the lateral brow produces a more rested, bright, and even elegant appearance. This is very easily simulated with gentle upward traction on the skin of the lateral forehead – if you feel that this may apply to you then try it in the mirror and the improvement will be quite obvious.

A youthful, feminine brow rests above the level of the orbital rim, which is the upper margin of the bony socket in which the eye resides. An aesthetically pleasing brow is somewhat arched laterally, and the lateral end or "tail" of the brow is higher than the medial end. It is quite common for the female brow to assume an essentially flat or horizontal orientation as a person ages.

If the skin and soft tissues lose enough elasticity with age and sun exposure, the lateral brow may even descend to a level below the orbital rim, producing a tired or even 'surly' appearance. The medial brow is relatively fixed in position and in most cases does not descend much, if any. In years past, a browlift surgery required an incision across the top of the head, from ear to ear. This was replaced in the 1990's, for most surgeons, by the endoscopic browlift, which allowed the same procedure to be performed through small incisions just behind the hairline.

While I used endoscopic browlift techniques for several years to treat brow descent, more recently I have transitioned to performing a limited incision lateral browlift that does not require the use of an endoscope. The relatively short incision is hidden behind the temporal hairline, and no incisions are required in the scalp directly above the eyes. The advantage is as follows: this approach allows me to not only redrape the lateral brow (conservatively!) in a higher position, but it also allows me to reposition the skin and soft tissues of the lateral periorbital area in an upward direction, producing a more complete rejuvenation of the periorbital area. Additionally, through this same incision I can perform suspension of the midface (cheek) if that is part of the surgical plan.

Rejuvenation of the brow by means of a lateral browlift will also, in most cases, improve the appearance of the upper eyelids. When the lateral brow is repositioned above the orbital rim, the vertical elevation may eliminate the appearance of wrinkled or 'crepey' upper eyelid skin. If the lateral upper lid skin is 'hooded' over the lateral corner of the eye, this improves as well. While upper blepharoplasty (upper lid skin excision) is often performed in concert with a lateral browlift, for many patients the upward positioning of the brow eliminates the need for skin excision.

Treatment of ‘Frown Lines’

The frown muscles (aptly named the 'corrugator' muscles) which create vertical frown lines between the eyebrows can be removed at the time of a browlift. This can be done endoscopically, through small incisions behind the hairline directly above the frown lines, or through an upper lid incision if upper blepharoplasty is being performed. Many patients undergoing this procedure have enjoyed the effect of BOTOX injection in this area and desire a permanent correction of vertical frown lines. In some cases I perform corrugator muscle removal alone for patients that do not have (or are not troubled by) descended brows.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Browlift and forehead lift

+2

A browlift and a forehead lift may refer to the very same procedure that elevates the brow/forehead either endoscopically or through an incision at or behind the hairline.  In some circumstances, a direct browlift may be done using an incision directly above the eyebrow.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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Browlift vs Forehead Lift

+1

There are many methods for performing a browlift or forehead lift including an endoscopic browlift (through tiny incisions with the assistance of telescopes) , bicoronal forehead lift (extensive incision from ear to ear across the top of the head) and a tricophytic or hairline browlift. (hidden along the hairline. Each of these techniques achieves a similar result through the brow and the forehead in terms of smoothing of lines and gentle elevation of the brows.

The key difference is in how they affect your hairline. The Bicoronal (ear to ear) browlift elevates or pulls your hairline back, raising the frontal hairline by up to one inch. The Endoscopic lift has minimal effect of the position of the hairline. The tricophytic or hairline browlift can be used to adjust the hairline, usually lowering it to address a receding hairline or widow's peaks in the temporal hairline.
 

The forehead procedure that is the best for you will ultimately depend on how much skin laxity you have, the  hairline position that you desire, and the types of incisions/scarring that is acceptable to you.
Best of luck!

Dr. Clevens

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Brow Lift Vs Forehead Lift - Is there a difference?

+1

It's not a silly question and there are a lot of different names being offered in the media without explanation.

There are a number of techniques and modifications that are used by the  plastic surgeons and unfortunately there is not uniform terminology so that Brow Lift and Forehead lift can actually mean the same thing. A Brow Lift generally raises the outside (lateral) brow or the entire structure depending what is required.  A Forehead Lift is designed to lift the entire forehead minimizing deep transverse wrinkles and furrows.  Similar techniques can be used for both procedures, including minimal and hidden scar techniques, which often times use an endoscopic (surgical telescope) approach through remote incisions behind the hairline.The important thing is that the procedure is individualized to match  the patient’s desires and requirements such as lowering the hairline, or lifting just the outside of the brow which often droops before the middle part.  This will determine where the incision is placed.   It is important to select a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in all of these techniques, so the procedure can be individualized to your needs.  For example, if you have a high hair line or a receding hair line, the incision will be made at the hair line.  By using a beveling incision technique under magnification to preserve maximum hair follicles, the scar will be minimized as individual hairs will grow into the scar camouflaging it in many cases so that you could wear your hair pulled back.

Endoscopic brow lifts are commonly performed   The operation is done using an endoscope (a narrow hollow surgical telescope with a fiber optic light source and camera) and a small specialized instrumentation.  Endoscopic forehead-lifts use several short incision placed behind the hair line.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Browlift vs. Forehead lift

+1

These tend to be use interchangeably, but they aren't the same.  A brow lift does just that, it lifts the brows and the skin of the eyelids below as a result.  It is generally done either through a direct incision above the brow or through and upper lid incision.  A mid-forehead lift is also used to raise the brows, but the incision is placed in the skin well above the brow hairs, hidden in the horizontal forehead creases.  Forehead lifts, such as the pretrichial, endoscopic and coronal, all lift forehead skin as well as the brows and eyelids below.  Some call them a brow lift because this is the facial feature the patient generally most wants lifted, but the forehead will be lifted as well.  This is important to consider as the endoscopic and coronal lifts both tend to raise the hairline some.  The pretrichial incision is placed at the hairline and only raises the skin below.  Ask 5 surgeons to explain these procedures and you'll get 5 different answers.

Matheson A. Harris, MD
Salt Lake City Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Forehead lift vs. brow lift

+1

The terms are most commonly used interchangeably by most surgeons since typically the brows and forehead are lifted together.  There is a way to lift the brows without lifting the forehead (direct brow lift) but it is not  a common procedure.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Forehead or brow

+1

The names are used interchangeably, but in truth they imply different things. The brow is just the area directly behind the eyebrow while the forehead extends to the hairline. The common use of both terms has confused the issue. When all of the tissues are lifted in a forehead lift, the skin and muscle of the forehead along wiith the brows are placed higher. In older days there were procedures called direct brow lifts where a strip of skin was removed directly above the eyebrow and nothing was done to the forehead. It looked good in some men but could leave pale scars that were hard to hide.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Browlift vs forehead lift. What is the difference?

+1

  Excellent question.  Most of the time, the term browlift and forehead lift may be used interchangeably, and I commonly do this in my discussion with patients.  Rarely, one may have a browlift without having the forehead lifted as in a direct browlift but ususally this procedure is not done in patients concerned with cosmesis.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Browlifts and Forehead Lifts

+1

Browlift and forehead lift are terms that  are used synonymously to refer to a set of surgeries aimed at rejuvenating the brow and forehead region.  However, from a pure semantics standpoint, the brow is the lower border of the forehead and the hairline is the upper border of the forehead.  Therefore, I prefer to use the term browlift for procedures primarily aimed at treating droopy brows (brow ptosis) because lifting the entire forehead can suggest raising the hairline to some patients, which is usually not desired after browlifing.  When the aim of the surgery is to correct wrinkles of the mid forehead or to raise the hairline in patients without necessarily raising the brows, then I prefer to use the term forehead lift.

Thomas T. Le, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.