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I am considering an open forehead lift because the surgeon I saw said it will shorten my forehead. Is this better than an endoscopic forehead lift?

Published onJune 23, 2013

The forehead lift can dramatically improve your appearance and yield natural-looking results with a fast recovery time. The forehead lift is also known as a brow lift, and it is popular for its ability to help you appear years younger, its long-lasting effects, and the safety of this procedure. Like other medical advances, with time and research the way we approach the forehead lift has improved, and the endoscopic or “closed” forehead lift all but replaced the open forehead lift nearly twenty years ago. The open forehead lift was a revolutionary technology of its time, and it paved the way for advances in cosmetic facial surgery. Today, the endoscopic forehead lift is nearly always indicated rather than an open forehead lift.

The closed forehead lift is achieved by a small incision used to create profound results that are just as powerful as the open forehead lift, while achieving numerous noteworthy benefits that make it favorable over the open forehead lift such as profoundly faster recovery, very low rate of sensory nerve damage (which is unavoidable with the open forehead lift), and minimal change to the actual hairline. The goal with a forehead lift, as with any other cosmetic surgery, is to achieve an improvement that appears natural, complimenting and enhancing your features rather than being overly aggressive. A minimally invasive approach is advisable, meaning that surgery should be approached conservatively and with great care and attention to detail for dramatic improvement that seems fitting for your features and does not yield the “surgical look” famed in gossip magazines. The endoscopic forehead lift is preferred to the open forehead lift because of improvements such as:

  • Minimal scarring and fast recovery time. The closed forehead lift is made with a limited number of small incisions (4-6) that are virtually unnoticed even for individuals with baldness, which means that your results are more natural, and you heal more quickly.
  • Speaking of healing time, the nature of this smaller incision surgery leads to a faster recovery and fewer complications, as compared to the open technique. The forehead lift is medically considered a very safe procedure, and the endoscopic forehead lift is even safer than the previous open method. Recovery for the endoscopic forehead lift is 3 to 4 times faster than the open forehead lift.
  • The open forehead lift is just as it sounds: it is created by a large incision that spans across the scalp. The resulting scar cannot be “hidden” by the hairline, because the human eye will detect the resulting subtle irregularities in hair growth. Even in the best of hand with a carefully beveled incision that allows hair to grow through the scar, the surgery will cause “compression” of the natural hairline. This translates to an unnatural appearing hairline. For this reason, most women having this procedure are disappointed with the results and style their hair to hide the hairline. So yes, technically the open forehead does “shorten” the forehead but the results never live up to the promise and the trade offs are profound. This includes unanticipated compression of the natural hairline, permanent damage to the sensory nerves of the scalp, and prolonged healing and swelling that can persist for 2 months.
  • The less aggressive a surgery is, the easier it is to achieve natural results now and in the future. Dr. Steinsapir always preserves as much of your natural tissue as possible, performing surgery as well as nonsurgical procedures with precision and careful attention to detail. Combined with great skill and experience, this approach brings dramatic improvement that appears completely natural, minimizes risk, and is the overall preferred choice of specializing physicians today.
  • Over the course of about twenty years, the endoscopic forehead lift has proven to be a time-tested cosmetic surgery that is one of the most important and revolutionary options for facial rejuvenation today.

The goal of the forehead lift is not to “shorten” the forehead, although this is a well-meaning misunderstanding. What an exceptional forehead lift achieves is a natural improvement by correcting the effects that come with age, such as falling or drooping features; creases, wrinkles, and forehead lines; and the details associated a “heaviness” of the brow that is often seen with aging. Surgeons go wrong with this procedure when they see their goal as “maximizing lift” or “shortening the forehead.” Where the rubber meets the road is brow and forehead aesthetics. The desired end point is a relaxed forehead that supports the eyebrows with few or no forehead lines. A brow that is properly shaped and supported at or slightly above the brow rim and no crows feet lines. Lateral brow hooding should be controlled. For some individuals, the best result comes from combining an endoscopic forehead lift with conservative upper eyelid surgery. Complications inherent to the open hairline forehead lift will be there long after the bitterness of regret has gone away. These problems are best avoided by having a modern endoscopic forehead lift.

The greatest factor in achieving the look you love is in choosing the right surgeon who specializes in the forehead lift and impressive, proven results for minimally invasive cosmetic facial procedures with an overall balanced aesthetic. The forehead lift is not a one-size-fits-all fix, so you are right in wondering what type of forehead lift is best-suited for your particular goals. The best forehead lift is one that is designed carefully and only for you. This is why Dr. Steinsapir customizes every surgery he performs.

Dr. Steinsapir helped introduce the small incision endoscopic forehead lift to the medial community. To learn more about Dr. Steinsapir’s expertise, proven ability to give you the best results possible, and professionalism you can trust, call today to schedule your consultation and receive a personalized recommendation.

About Dr. Steinsapir
Dr. Steinsapir is a board certified eye surgeon and fellowship-trained in oculoplastic surgery and cosmetic surgery in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills where he specializes in balanced facial cosmetic surgery for natural results, with an emphasis on minimally invasive techniques, fast recovery time, and leadership in medical technology. Dr. Steinsapir has a private practice and also serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Contact us today to learn how Dr. Steinsapir’s experience and training make him an expert in cosmetic surgery, which can be a vital part of your evidence-based treatment plan.

Services described may be “off-label” and lack FDA approval. This article is informational and does not constitute an advertisement for off-label treatment. No services should be provided without a good faith examination by a licensed physician or surgeon and an informed consent with a discussion of risks, benefits, alternatives, and the likelihood of treatment success. Only you and your treating physician or surgeon can determine if a treatment is right for you.

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