What are the main risks of a brow lift?
As with any surgical procedure, a brow lift comes with risks and complication. It is important to fully educate yourself about all brow lift risks and complications before deciding to continue with the procedure. Our BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeons strongly recommend that you spend at least two weeks thinking over all the information before deciding to continue with the surgery.
While many of the brow lift risks and complications below are uncommon, it is still useful to know there is a possibility that they can occur. The risk and complications of a brow lift include:
Hair loss and hairline elevation
Hair loss may occur around the areas of the incision. This loss may be temporary or may cause a permanent reduction of hair growth. A brow lift procedure may also result in an elevated hairline. You may like to ask your surgeon how likely this risk is with the technique they will use on you.
One of the brow lift risks and complications includes skin discolouration. Most people will see a slight change in the colour of their skin in the area where the operation was performed. If this does occur, it will most likely settle after some months. In the meantime, makeup can be a useful tool if you wish to cover these colour changes.
Any surgery is an invasive procedure and with this comes the risk of introducing infection into the body. Infections usually become apparent in the first 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. You may notice that your wounds or treatment areas are not settling as expected. Mild infections generally settle down with a course of antibiotics.
The signs of infection to look out for are:
- A temperature of over 38° C.
- Redness at the incision site that begins to spread outwards from that site.
- Yellow pus or foul-smelling fluid coming from your wounds.
- An increase in pain or discomfort that your pain medication does not help.
Tissue or skin necrosis
It is a possibility that some areas of skin may die if blood supply to that area is lost during surgery. This is called necrosis and is much more likely to occur in smokers. This is a very rare complication but you must be aware that if it were to happen, it may affect the final results of your brow lift. You may also require another operation to help fix the damage.
Injury to your nerves during surgery can lead to a loss of sensation or movement in the face. This may be temporary or permanent but generally, long-term loss of sensation or movement is a rare complication. Choosing an experienced, highly qualified BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon to do your surgery helps minimize this risk.
Bruising and bleeding
Mild bleeding and bruising is common following a brow lift procedure and is usually temporary. If more severe bleeding occurs, it may form a solid collection of blood under the skin which is called a haematoma. This presents with pain, significant bruising and facial or neck swelling. Almost all haematomas occur within 24 hours of your procedure and require medical attention. Despite this, it should not significantly affect the results of your brow lift.
As your surgeon will be making incisions on the treatment area, you should expect that scars are unavoidable. In most cases, however, scarring is minimal and well hidden within the hair or hairline. The extent of scarring depends on the technique used and your skins ability to heal.
There is always a risk that you will be unhappy with the results of your brow lift for aesthetic reasons. This means you may not be happy with how your face looks after surgery. Indeed, there is a risk that there may be some asymmetry in your facial features. Therefore, we advise that you choose your surgeon carefully and make sure they have the necessary experience and qualifications. We also recommend that you are clear and frank about your goals during your consultation. This will make it more likely that you will be happy with the results of your brow lift.
General surgical complications
All surgical procedures carry some common risks. These general surgical complications include but are not limited to:
- The development of blood clots.
- Risks of anesthesia.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Post-operative pain.
How can I prepare for a brow lift?
Your brow lift preparation is easier than ever with the list of tips we have put together for you! Getting things in order before your surgery will no doubt help to make your post-operative period as smooth and easy as possible. You may like to come up with more ideas but here are some suggestions we have put together for preparing for a brow lift:
Make your recovery more relaxed by getting all your cleaning jobs out of the way beforehand. It may help to get on top of the laundry, take out the rubbish and give the house a clean so that you can take a few days off after your brow lift.
It is likely your face will be bruised and swollen after your surgery and you may not feel like going shopping. The solution? Do a big food shop to keep you going the day before your procedure. You may also like to make up some meals and freeze them, that way you won’t have to worry about cooking.
You may like to organise for friends or family to help look after kids or pets for a few days after your brow lift. Organizing this in advance will help prevent you any unnecessary stress during your recovery period.
If you are planning to have any hair or facial treatments, we recommend you do these before your surgery. Your scars will be sensitive to the chemicals often used in these treatments for the first few weeks.
Due to the anaesthesia used during surgery, you will be unable to drive yourself home. You may, therefore, like to ask someone you know to drive you home.
We advise you choose to wear clothing that zips or fastens easily at the back or the front so you do not have to pull anything over your head. This will avoid contact with the treatment area and make sure you are comfortable!
Eating and drinking
We advise that you try to stick to high-protein, low-sodium foods like fruit and vegetables after your brow lift. Avoid consuming high amounts of salt and sugar while you recover. Drink water regularly to stay hydrated and aim to avoid beverages containing caffeine.
Ensure you have plenty of extra pillows to help you elevate your head while sleeping after your surgery. Your BAAPS/BAPRASsurgeon will advise that you rest and sleep on your back in an inclined position, avoiding lying flat. This will help reduce your swelling.