What is an endoscopic brow-lift?

An endoscopic brow-lift is an operation which lifts the lateral ends of the eyebrows, removing the skin folds and improving the crows feet appearance at the outer corner of the eyes.

This operation used to be done by making a long cut across the top of the head in the hairline. This left a huge scar and gave the operation a bad reputation, despite the good results on the eyes and brows.

Modern surgical methods have enabled these same results to be achieved without this huge scar. Keyhole surgery is now used to lift and anchor the lateral eyebrows. This results in three or four tiny scars (less than 1cm each) which are hidden by the hair.

What are the limitations of the endoscopic brow-lift operation?

An endoscopic brow-lift is not a good idea for those ladies who have a very high hairline. This is because the hairline is also lifted slightly during this procedure. If a woman has thinning hair then the resultant scars, even though they are small, may be more obvious.

Are brow-lifts available on the NHS?

Generally speaking, brow-lifts are not available on the NHS.

How is the operation done?

The operation is done under a general anaesthetic (with you asleep). Three or four 1cm long incisions are made just inside the hairline above the brows. A tiny surgical telescope is inserted through one incision and a special ‘dissector’ is inserted through the other. The forehead skin and muscle are then released from the underlying skull bone, right down to the upper and outer part of the eyelid. The brow is then simply pulled up to tighten the tissue around the eye and the skin is then anchored into this new position. A number of anchoring devices are available, ranging from simple screws and staples, to absorbable synthetic plates – a bit like carpet grippers!

Tissue glue may be sprayed under the skin to allow the skin to stick down, avoiding bleeding, minimising bruising and swelling and avoiding the need for any drains. Metal staples are used to close the tiny skin wounds in the hairline. No dressings are required.

How long is the operation?

An endoscopic brow-lift usually takes about 1 hour and is usually done as a day case procedure

Are there any risks?

Like all surgical procedures an endoscopic browlift carries a risk of complications including numbness of the upper forehead and scalp, bruising, infection, bald spots if the scars in the hairline stretch, and failure to hold the brow up resulting in a gradual recurrence of the brow ptosis.

How long does the browlift last?

Once the brow has been elevated and anchored in its new position, it holds very well and it is very uncommon to need to repeat this procedure