CANOE – You may need an eyebrow lift and just not know it

An eyebrow lift is not the most popular procedure in cosmetic enhancements, but more and more doctors are recommending it.

Dr. Lorne Tarshis of the Institute of Cosmetic Surgery says often patients come in and ask to have their upper lids done, but it’s actually not their lids but brows that need lifting.

“What they notice is that everything is heavy in that area and it’s my job to tell them the right procedure.”

Dr. Tarshis concedes that a brow lift will not make one look younger, but it will give them a ‘refreshed’ look. “Whenever you do anything with the brow, you get a youthful refreshed look. Brow lifts don’t make you look younger but refreshed and rested. A facelift will make you look younger.”

The greatest advancement in the brow lift surgery, according to Dr. Tarshis, is the ability to use endoscopes to perform surgery. “Twenty years ago, a brow lift was an ear to ear incision behind the scalp; now it’s 3 tiny incisions.” Two incisions are at each corner of the eye, but behind the hairline, and the third is at the centre of the hairline.

Another important tool that makes the latest brow lift less invasive is a device called Endotine. The product, which only became widely available in the last two years or so, is inserted underneath the skin and into the hairline. It is made of biodegradable material and holds the lift in place. The Endotine eventually dissolves into the skin. The beauty of the Endotine is that it allows for readjustment.

“Say the day after surgery the patient wanted the brows a little higher. No problem. We simply open the tiny incision, raise [the Endotine] up and then reengage it on the clip. Really a great advantage. It’s completely different than what we did before.”

Endoscopic surgery and the Endotine have made the procedure a lot simpler and decreased down time significantly. According to Dr. Tarshis many patients who have the surgery on Thursday can then be back at work on Monday. “We used to have problems with hairloss and numbness, but now that’s all for the history books,” says Dr. Tarshis.

For those not prepared to undergo surgery just yet, but are looking for what Dr. Tarshis describes as a sneak preview, there are other options.

Dermatologist Dr. Benjamin Barankin says his patients are very happy with the non-surgical results. “People aren’t aware that it’s something we can treat medically. Once they’ve had it done they generally want it again because the results are nice.”

Dr. Barankin admits that non-surgical options are typically best for those with mild to moderate drooping, usually between the ages of 35 and 55. “After that you’re looking at extra skin and advanced drooping, which you’ll need surgically removed.”

The other difference between surgical and non-surgical procedures is the length of time the treatment will last. Often with surgery a brow lift will last between 5-10 years. With non-surgical options it varies between 3.5 to 18 months.

According to Dr. Barankin, there are basically two non-surgical options to lifting the brows. One is through Botox and the other is through fillers. With the first option, Botox is injected into the corner of the eyebrow to give about an 2-3 millimetre lift. “It’s not a huge difference but it’s a simple addition and helps with eyelid wrinkling. Usually we doing this while treating other lines on the face like crows feet. It really doesn’t add much to the cost of the treatment. Subsequent treatments will be required every 3.5 to 4 months.

Fillers last a bit longer, generally 9-18 months, but the price is a little bit more. Botox will run you approximately $125 per visit while fillers are about $375. However, like Botox, eyebrow fillers are often included while treating other areas, so the cost may be lower.

Downtime with Botox and fillers is quite low, most people can usually go back to work right after the treatment. Dr. Barankin recommends patients do not lie down on their face for the rest of the day, however, until the treatment settles.

“I think brow lifts will grow as physicians get more comfortable with it and let the patients know about it. I think the forehead has been marketed well…now other aspects are getting more interest and attention. As we let our patients know about it, it certainly will become more popular.”

CANOE – You may need an eyebrow lift and just not know it

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