How to Address Forehead Numbness After a Browlift?

hi, i had an eyebrow lift in argentina , the dr. used an old technique and cut above the eyebrows not endoscopic, now 11 months later the numbness in the forehead and scars that hurt when i lift my eyebrows. thank you jacob

Doctor Answers 19

Pain and Numbness after Surgery

Sorry to hear of your discomfort after a brow lift.

The "direct" brow lift, with incision just above the brow hair, is still a valid technique.

It is still possible that the numbness will improve.

The pain you feel with lifting your brow should be evaluated; there may be some helpful treatments to make the pain less.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Not much can be done at this point

Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if your numbness is permanent. This can still occur even with traditional, open browlifts, but it sounds like your surgeon did not discuss with you the risk of this occurring.

Endoscopic browlifts usually are less likely to result in permanent numbness, but it still can occur.

If the scars hurt when you elevate your brows, it may be due to some poor scar healing or contracture, which can be treated surgically. I would recommend seeing a Board Certified Surgeon in your area for a formal evaluation.

Good luck,

Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

An Evaluation is Needed

The technique used is sometimes beneficial for men and is known as a "direct browlift". The pain you describe is probably related to sensory nerve re-growth and is generally likely to improve over time.

However, in rare circumstances, a granuloma can form on a sensory nerve ending in the healing process and can lead to continued discomfort. There is a possibility that your situation could be improved with scar revision because after 11 months, the scars are reaching maturity and are not likely to change significantly.

At this point, evaluation of your situation by a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon is indicated.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

There is really nothing you can do

The technique you had is still ised for certain circumstances in men especially if they have a receeding hairline. The numbness will either resolve over the next 2-3 years, or it will not. B complex vitamines and amssage may help but basically the nreve recovery takes a long time and will either happen or not and you will be permanently numb.

This is one good reason not to go out of the country for plastic surgery just because it is less expensive. I am sure your doctor in Argentina has little interest in your problem unfortunately. Good luck!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

How to address forehead numbness after a browlift?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Numbness May Occur Following Browlift & Function Usually Returns 12-18 Months Following Surgery

Unfortunately your brow numbness may be permanent at this time. We usually see some temporary numbness following brow lift surgery. This is usually related to compression or stretch of the forehead sensory nerves. Function typically returns in 12 to 18 months following surgery.
When direct excisional brow lifts are performed, the forehead sensory nerves are at risk for injury. This certainly may be a possibility for you. When this occurs the numbness may be permanent.
It’s concerning that you have pain in your scar with movement. This suggests possible neuroma formation. It’s important that you see a board certified plastic surgeon for further evaluation.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Numbness after Browlift

When it comes to numbness from an incision, it can sometimes take up to 1-2 years for sensation to come back. However, with a coronal or direct brow lift such as you've had, numbness can sometimes be permanent. If after 11 months you haven't had any sensation return chances are it may not return.To address the pain issue you’re having, it sounds as though it may be due to your incision not healing properly. Scar revision surgery may be an option to help with some of the pain; I would recommend going to see a Board Certified plastic surgeon to talk about your options at length.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Direct brow lift

It is possible with a direct brow lift to damage the superorbital and supratrochlear nerves (nerves that control sensation) in the eyebrow area.  Anytime there is numbness postoperative from a brow lift usually with time it gets better, however it is possible to have permanent numbness in the area of the brows after surgery. It is one of the risks of the procedure. 

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Browlift numbness

It sounds like you had a direct browlift.  In this case perhaps the sensory nerves were cut. When an open coronal brow lift is performed, nerves are commmonly cut, but then usually regnerate over a years time.  You may not get it back from that positoin.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Numbness after a brow lift

Brow lifts are an extremely popular and effective way to reposition the brow and smooth the forehead. It is possible to have some swelling and numbness in the brow after the surgery. This is usually due to the nerves of the forehead having been stretched. Your sensation should return in several months. At this time it is too early to perform any corrective procedure.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 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.