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The Endoscopic Browlift - What To Expect

Oct 19, 2007
As the upper face ages, it may appear angry. Horizontal creases form across the forehead, and the brow furrows forming frown lines. The endoscopic browlift smooths and restores the forehead, creating a more youthful refreshed look above the eyes.

The endoscopic procedure has several advantages over its surgical counterpart. It only requires three to five small incisions (about 1 inch in length) instead of the traditional ear-to-ear incision, the hairline remains unaltered, and the procedure can be performed with or without elevation of the brows. The endoscopic procedure also results in a faster recovery and inconspicuous scarring.

Preparation
Eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet before surgery. A healthy diet will help speed recovery. Also plan ahead and prepare nutritious meals that are easy to warm up so that you won't need to spend too much time in the kitchen during your recovery.

If you smoke, abstain from smoking for at least six weeks before and after surgery. This reduces the risk of infection and encourages faster healing.
Do not take any medicines containing aspirin or ibuprofen during the two weeks preceding surgery.
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.
Be certain you do not have a cold or sunburn the day of surgery.
Do not wear make-up or contact lenses to surgery.
Arrange to have someone take you home after surgery and, if possible, help you around the house for a few days while you recover.

Procedure - Endoscopic Browlift
Hair is tied back and trimmed behind the hairline where the incision will be made.
You surgeon makes three to five short incisions (each less than 1 inch in length) along the scalp. An endoscope (a tiny camera) is inserted into one of these incisions allowing the surgeon to view the muscles and tissue beneath the skin.

Through another incision, the surgeon lifts the forehead skin and adjusts or removes the muscles to produce a smoother appearance. The eyebrows may be lifted as well and secured into a higher position with sutures beneath the skin's surface or with temporary fixation screws placed behind the hairline. The scalp incisions are closed with stitches or clips and the area is washed. Gauze and elastic bandages are applied.

What To Expect After
After the procedure is over, patients may experience some numbness, swelling, or discomfort at the incision site. This is normal and will pass with time. Incision site pain is usually minimal and can be controlled with medication, if necessary. Swelling can be treated with cold compresses.

Within two days you should be up and about, although you should continue to take it easy. Also within the first two days the bandages are usually removed. Afterwards, you should be able to shower and shampoo.

Within a week, stitches or staples can be removed, and within two weeks fixation screws can be removed. Within three weeks most of the visible signs of surgery should be gone. Although patients will probably feel ready to return to work or school within seven to ten days following the procedure, they should take it easy and limit rigorous activity for several weeks. Prolonged heat and sun exposure should be limited for several months.

Risks
As with any surgery, there is the risk of complication. Most complications associated with endoscopy are minor and will pass with time. Possible complications include damage to the nerves that control eyebrow movement (usually temporary), infection, bleeding, and reactions to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following instructions both before and after surgery.

If a complication should occur during an endoscopic forehead lift, your surgeon may have to abandon the endoscopic approach and switch to the conventional, open procedure, which will result in a more extensive scar and a longer recovery period. To date, such complications are rare -- estimated at less than 1 percent of all endoscopy procedures.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about browlift surgery and other plastic surgery procedures.
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