OHSU

Casey Eye Institute at OHSU, Portland, Oregon

Where Healing, Teaching and Discovery Come Together


Forehead/Brow Lifts

Brow Lifts

Brow lifts can be done for cosmetic and medical reasons—raising the eyebrows to improve peripheral vision. If you have low-set brows, you may look angry or tired even when you are not. This facial "miscommunication" can cause problems for some people at home and in the workplace.

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Actual Patient

A brow lift can be performed with the incision through the skin immediately above the brow, at the hairline or above the hairline, depending on the patient’s needs and desires. Most cosmetic brow lift incisions are hidden behind the hairline.

Brow lifts can be done as microsurgery, using an instrument called an endoscope that allows your doctor to see the pertinent anatomy, as well as be able to use micro-surgical instruments. This can mean smaller, less noticeable incisions. Virtually all patients go home after a brow lift, with no overnight hospital stay. A responsible adult will need to stay with you if sedation or general anesthesia is used.

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Actual Patient

A procedure called internal brow lift surgery lifts the eyebrows through the same incision used to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids. Your doctor will release the tissue that holds the eyebrow down, allowing it to move upward. This procedure lifts the eyebrows, but does not treat forehead wrinkles.

Eyelid Surgery

Your eyes are often the first thing people notice about your face. In fact, many people feel eyes are a person’s most attractive feature. Beyond appearances, your eyelids work to protect your eyes. Over time, your upper or lower eyelids may droop. These changes can make your eyes look less attractive. Some people have other problems, such as trouble seeing with severely drooping eyelids.

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Actual Patient

Eyelid surgery to improve your appearance is called blepharoplasty. The procedure is done in our surgery suite at the Casey Aesthetic Facial Surgery Center, and virtually all patients go home the same day. It can be done under local anesthesia, "twilight anesthesia", or general anesthesia if you prefer.

Eyelid surgery is intended to reduce the appearance of sagging or droopy eyelids. Your doctor will make tiny incisions in the lid’s natural folds, and then close them with fine sutures to avoid noticeable scarring. We may also use a laser to minimize swelling and bruising, sculpting the area and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

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Actual Patient

Roger Dailey, M.D. F.A.C.S., was the first surgeon in Oregon to use advanced laser technology to make incisions for eyelid and other plastic surgery of the head and neck. Some patients may choose to have eyelid surgery at the same time as a brow lift,  or to rejuvenate the entire face.

Frequently asked questions about brow lifts and eyelid surgery

Do I need to check into the hospital for brow lift or eyelid surgery?

No. Both these procedures can be easily and comfortably performed in our office ambulatory surgery center. You will have local anesthesia, with medication to relax you. If you prefer, you may have general anesthesia.

What is recovery like for brow lift and eyelid surgery?

Most patients who have brow lifts at the Casey Aesthetic Facial Surgery Center also have eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery usually causes more bruising and swelling than a brow lift, and recovery from this can take up to three weeks. Stitches dissolve or are removed about one to two weeks after surgery. Recovery from a brow lift alone typically takes seven to 10 days.

You may shampoo your hair the day after surgery, but should not scrub near the incision sites. You should avoid hair coloring or other harsh chemicals in the hair for four weeks after surgery.

Many patients who have brow lifts have temporary forehead numbness. This usually disappears over a few months.

Does insurance pay for brow lifts or eyelid surgery?

Insurance companies do not pay for endoscopic forehead lifts. They usually pay for eyelid surgery when drooping eyelids affect your vision. However, when droopy eyebrows impair vision, insurance companies in Oregon may pay for direct brow lift surgery (through incision directly above brow)  when a patient meets certain photographic and visual field requirements (performed in our office and submitted by us). The other possible scenario is if a patient has paralysis of one or both sides of the face from a stroke or Bell’s palsy. In this case, insurance companies will sometimes pay for the direct eyebrow lift procedure previously mentioned.

Are there risks to brow lift or eyelid surgery?

Yes. There are risks involved in all medical procedures. The doctors and staff at the Casey Aesthetic Facial Surgery Center will discuss the risks with you so you can make an informed decision. We can answer any questions you have about brow lifts, eyelid surgery and other cosmetic procedures.

If you are considering a brow lift or eyelid surgery, please call 503 494-3020 for a consultation. The consultation fee is applied toward your surgical fee should proceed with cosmetic corrective procedures.

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