Brow Lift Risks
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk, and it is important that you understand the risks involved with browlift surgery. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand the risks, potential complications, and consequences of browlift.
- Bleeding – It is possible, though unusual, that you might have problems with bleeding during or after surgery. Should post-operative bleeding occur, it may require emergency treatment to drain accumulated blood (hematoma). Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for ten days before surgery, as this contributes to a greater risk of bleeding. Hypertension (high blood pressure) that is not under good medical control may cause bleeding during or after surgery. Accumulations of blood under the skin may delay healing and cause scarring.
- Infection- Infection is unusual after this type of surgery. Should an infection occur, additional treatment including antibiotics or additional surgery may be necessary.
- Change in skin sensation- Diminished (or loss) of skin sensation in the face and scalp area may not totally resolve after browlift surgery. Chronic itching sensations can occur with the scalp and brow following a browlift.
- Skin contour irregularities- Contour irregularities, depressions, and wrinkling of skin may occur after a browlift.
- Skin Scarring – Excessive scarring is uncommon. In rare cases, abnormal scars may result. Scars may be unattractive and of different color than surrounding skin. There is the possibility of visible marks from sutures, staples, or hardware used during a browlift. Additional treatments including surgery may be necessary to treat abnormal scarring.
- Change in surgical approach for browlift- In some situations, depending on factors discovered only at the time of surgery, your surgeon may have to make changes in surgical technique and approach to the browlift procedure. This may require changing from an endoscopic (closed) procedure to a standard (open) browlift.
- Surgical anesthesia- Both local and general anesthesia involves risk. There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation.
- Nerve Injury- there is the potential for injury to both motor and sensory nerves during a browlift operation. Weakness or loss in movements of the forehead or upper eyebrow may occur after browlift surgery. Most individuals will notice a return of motor function; permanent weakness is rare. Injury, may also occur in the sensory nerves of the forehead, scalp, and temple regions. Diminished sensation may normally occur in the scalp region after a browlift surgery. Permanent numbness or painful nerve scarring is rare.
- Damage to deeper structures- Deeper structures such as the eye, nerves, blood vessels, skull bone and muscles may be damaged during the course of surgery. The potential for this to occur varies with the type of browlift procedure performed.
- Asymmetry- The human face is normally asymmetrical. There can be a variation from one side to the other following a browlift surgery.
- Delayed healing- Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible. Some areas of the brow and scalp may not heal normally or may take a long time to heal. Some areas of the skin may die, requiring frequent dressing changes or further surgery may be required to remove the non-healed tissue. Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications.
- Allergic Reactions- In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported. Systemic reactions which are more serious may result from drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines. Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.
- Seroma- Fluid accumulations infrequently occur beneath the skin. Should this problem occur, it may require additional procedures for drainage of fluid.
- Long term effects- Subsequent alterations in forehead and upper eyebrow appearance may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, sun exposure, or other circumstances not related to browlift surgery. Browlift surgery does not arrest the aging process or produce permanent tightening of the forehead. Additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary to maintain the results of a browlift operation.
Eye irritation-Irritation or dryness in the eyes may occur after a rbowlift or when the patient has eyelid surgery performed at the same time.
- Pain- Very infrequently, chronic pain may occur after a browlift.
- Hair loss- Hair loss may occur within the scalp or surgical incisions. The occurrence of this is not predictable. Hair loss may resolve slowly or in rare cases be permanent.
- Hardware and deeper sutures-some surgical techniques use small or permanent deep sutures to help suspend brow structures. In very unusual circumstances, a screw could penetrate through the skull. Intracranial injury is rare, but possible. If this occurs, additional treatment may be necessary. It may be necessary to remove hardware or deeper sutures at a later time.
- Eyelid disorders- Disorders that involve abnormal position of the upper eyelids (eyelid ptosis), loose eyelid skin, or abnormal laxness of the lower eyelid (ectropian) can coexist with sagging forehead and eyebrow structures. Browlift surgery will not correct these disorders. Additional surgical procedures may be necessary.
- Unsatisfactory Results- You may be disappointed with the results of surgery. Infrequently, it is necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results.
There are many variable conditions in addition to risk and potential surgical complications that may influence the long term result of browlift surgery. Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited are the ones that are particularly associated with browlift surgery. Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon. Should complications occur, additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary. The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied, on the results that may be obtained
Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic surgical operations such as the browlift or any complications that might occur from surgery. Please carefully review your health insurance subscriber-information pamphlet.