As the forehead naturally descends with aging, it can age the face by causing frown lines, creases across the forehead and a low or sagging brow. Brow lift surgery helps minimize these characteristic.
The traditional open brow lift and the endoscopic brow lift are the common techniques used to perform the surgery. The open brow lift has one continuous incision from ear to ear, going up around the hairline, and the incisions are made behind the hairline so that they won’t be visible. An endoscopic brow lift has a few small incisions in the scalp, and then the endoscope, a tiny camera device, is inserted into one of the incisions so the surgeon can view the tissues and muscles from a screen.
A recent study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery compared postoperative numbness in the scalp and forehead for these two brow lift techniques and found that open brow lifts resulted in more numbness early on, but after 18 months, the end results were about the same.
Twenty-one participants took part in the study (11 had an endoscopic brow lift and 10 had an open brow lift), and the researchers found that those who had the open brow lift had significantly more numbness from one to two weeks to 12 to 14 weeks after surgery. However, the differences were no longer present at 24 to 26 weeks after surgery.
A retrospective analysis was also completed of 58 patients followed up at six months or more postoperatively. Again, the open group had more numbness early on, from six to 18 months, but the differences disappeared after the 18-month point.
The authors found that despite the numbness “almost no patients (57 of 58), irrespective of the technique used for their brow lift, viewed their experienced forehead and/or scalp numbness to have been significant enough to deter them from undergoing the surgery again.”
Dr. Kim performs traditional and endoscopic brow lifts in The Woodlands, Texas.