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

Are they the same surgery?

Doctor Answers 38

Browlift and forehead lift

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.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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

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


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


  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.


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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Brow lift vs. Forehead Lift

Brow lift or Forehead lift are different names for essentially the same procedure, although there are ways of lifting the brows through direct excision of skin above the brows without lifting the entire forehead.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Browlift vs forehead lift

These are interchangeable terms.  Some people refer to it as one instead of the other.  There are browlifts that would not be considered forehead lifts but in general these are the same term.  Visiting a plastic surgeon in your area will help determine which procedure is right for you. 

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

There are many different names for surgical procedures depending on the surgeon.

There are many different names for surgical procedures depending on the surgeon. For some surgeons, a brow lift and a forehead lift may encompass different procedures. Personally, at my office, a forehead lift and a brow lift are two different names for the same procedure. This procedure elevates a saggy brow line and eliminates frown lines in between the brows. I offer four different types of forehead/brow lifts:
  1. 1-centimeter incision brow lift, which is the most minimally invasive procedure with the easiest recovery. As the name implies, a one-centimeter incision is made in the eyebrow, through which a special suture is made that lifts the skin, muscle, and fat.

2. Endoscopic brow lift, which is used when patients require more of a lift than the one-centimeter lift can provide. Only a few incisions are necessary, and recovery time is slightly longer but results are more dramatic.

3. Direct brow lift, which is only used in rare cases where the brow has dropped so much that vision is impaired. The tissue just above the brow is raised in this surgery.

4. Coronal brow lift, which is an older technique rarely used today due to its invasive nature and large scar. A coronal brow lift requires an incision all the way across the top of the forehead from ear to ear, from which a strip of tissue is removed in order to elevate the brow.

Talk to your surgeon to find out what a forehead or brow lift entails in their practice, and always be sure to see a reputable, board-certified facial plastic surgeon. I hope this helps.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Forhead Lifting versus Brown Lifting - A three part Editorial

Hi there,

I recently wrote a three part editorial series on Forehead lifting as well as eyebrow procedures. I discuss in great detail how this works.Everything from the physiology, the anatomy to treatments. I think rather than repeat myself, you can check out the link below. I am sure you will find it helpful.

Dr James P. Bonaparte
Facial Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
Head and Neck Surgery
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Brow Lift vs Forehead Lift

Thank you for your question. The real difference is what the surgeon says he/she is going to do, not the name. Have them describe the surgical plan, not the brand name of it. I hope this helps!

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Forehead Lift vs. Browlift

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Browlift vs Forehead Lift

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Brow Lift Vs Forehead Lift - Is there a difference?

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 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.