Is It Possible to Get a "Brow Lift" That Just Snips the Forehead Muscles but Doesn't Lift the Skin?

I understand that brow lifts pretty much consists of 1) snipping certain muscles in forehead to prevent continued forehead wrinkles and 2) lifting the skin back to tighten. Is it possible (or even advisable) to simply go in and snip the muscles to prevent the forehead from wrinkling without actually lifting the forehead skin? I was just thinking about someone who wanted a permanent solution (as an alternative to botox) to forehead wrinkling, but didn't need the skin lifted.

Doctor Answers 9

Yes, the muscles can be cut with a forehead lift with out lifting the brows

Yes, it is possible but the results would not be permanent. You would most likely be better off having botox. Consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to explore your options.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Is It Possible to Get a "Brow Lift" That Just Snips the Forehead Muscles but Doesn't Lift the Skin?

  Yes the forehead muscles can be weakened (cut) as the sole purpose of a Brow Lift and not only board certified general plastic surgeons are capable of this procedure.  In fact, board certified facial plastic surgeons and board certified cosmetic surgeons are equally qualified to perform Brow Lifts.

 IMHO, incisions placed in front of the hairline remove the small villous hairs that de-emphasize the hairline.  This type of incision removes these villous hairs making the hairline appear fake and obvious.  Similarly, IMO, incisions in a forehead may be more obvious than you would like.  Healed scars, from incisions, are skin color or white, not dark like the shadows within forehead creases.

 Factoring in the surgery required to cut and weaken the forehead muscles, Botox or Dysport several times a year might make more sense.  The main indication for a Brow Lift is and always was to raise low eyebrows to a more aesthetic position...decreasing forehead lines is a secondary benefit.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Yes, it is possible to get a "brow lift" without lifting the skin

During an endoscopic brow lift a board certified plastic surgeon can manipulate the muscles that cause wrinkling of the skin alone, or separate the skin from the underlying bone and lift it. Both maneuvers can be done at the same time, but each one can be performed alone as well. The forehead muscles that cause vertical lines are either cut or cut and removed surgically through a very small incision. The incision can be located in the hairline or even in the crease of the upper eyelid where it becomes nearly invisible with time. 

Z. Paul Lorenc, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Brow lift

Division of the frontalis muscle weakens the muscle. Years ago surgeons would remove strips of this muscle. The muscle returns with limited function even with all of this!! Any way you dont want a completely immobile forehead

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Brow lift alternative

There are different types of brow lifts. You can have a brow lift with surgery that will lift all the tissue, skin, and muscle. Also, you can use Ultherapy to tighten the area and/or Botox can lift the brows. It really depends upon how much correction is necessary. When you just relax the muscles of the face, like you do with Botox, you will get some elevation.  But it is not advised once you do surgery, to only snip those muscles. You need to release the tissue and lift the brow to get a lift that lasts. You must understand that nothing is permanent though, as we all continue to age and our face continues to change shape as we get older. Five years after any procedure, you may still need some kind of correction.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Brow lift to snip forehead muscles

Yes this is possible but the truth is the results would no be permanent. Eventually those muscles will begin to work again and you would be back to the same problem. I would recomend using Botox to correct the problem. Much easier for the patient and less risk.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Yes, the muscles can be cut with a forehead lift with out lifting the brows.

 Yes, the muscles can be cut with a forehead lift with out lifting the brows. Or you ccan have Botox as well.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Frown muscle resection

It is possible to resection the forehead muscles that cause frowning with  various surgical approaches. One does of necassarily have to lift the brows. The long term results are not always as good as the short term results with Botox. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


The only effective way to raise the eyebrows is to elevate skin [in some fashion], redrape, and often remove skin. The muscle that is "snipped" is the muscle that is between the eyebrows to prevent the furrows in the brow. Snipping or removing this muscle [corrugators], does NOT elevate the eyebrows appreciably. You can weaken these muscles quite effectively with botox. Botox can also be used to weaken the muscles around the eye which also subtly bring the eyebrow downwards. These can also be weakened to subtly raise the eyelid.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic 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.