Women’s eyebrows typically appear to sit in a higher position then men’s but this is largely an illusion. In fact, the top edge of the eyebrows is in almost exactly the same place for men and women.
The reason female eyebrows appear to be higher is simply that they are thinner. Basically, if you remove the bottom half of a male eyebrow, it turns into a female eyebrow.
Surgical Options for Brow Lifting:
1. Forehead Lift.
This technique can lift the eyebrows further than other techniques. It involves a long incision across the top of the head or along the hairline. A section of skin is removed and the forehead is pulled up to close the gap. The gap is then stitched shut. This means that the whole forehead is lifted. If the incision is made over the top of the head it is called a “coronal brow lift” and the advantage is that the scar will be invisible.
These are the same incisions that are used for forehead surgery so brow lifting and forehead surgery can be done at the same time.
Small plastic devices with backwards-pointing spines (endotines) can be used to anchor the eyebrows and soft tissues in place while everything heals. The endotines dissolve after a few months.
If you have a forehead lift with the incision behind the hairline then the hairline itself will also be raised when the gap is closed. This could be a problem if your hairline is already high but as I point out on the hairline page – women do actually tend to have higher hairlines than men, so in most cases raising the hairline a little is not be a problem and is often feminising.
If you wanted to avoid the hairline being raised, you would have to have the incision along the hairline rather than behind it. The problem with this approach is that it leaves a visible scar along the hairline like the one you can see on the Hair and Hairline page of this site.
2. Endoscopic Brow Lift.
In this technique, 3 to 5 small incisions are made in the scalp behind the hairline. The surgeon then uses instruments inserted through the incisions to lift the soft tissues away from the bone. Stitches are then used to pull up parts of the eyebrow. This technique is much more limited and can only achieve a more subtle lift.
Most FFS patients have forehead surgery, so they would be getting a subtle lift anyway because that’s one of the effects of forehead surgery as I explained above. However, if you were not having forehead surgery and wanted a subtle lift, this technique might be useful
3. Lateral Brow Lift
Also called a temporal brow lift this lifts the outer third of the eyebrow both upwards and outwards. The surgeon makes 2 incisions at the temples but behind the hairline where the scars won’t show. A small amount of skin is removed and internal stitches hold everything in place.
4. Internal Brow Lift.
Also called a transblepharoplasty brow lift. This is performed at the same time as an upper blepharoplasty which is a procedure to remove excess skin from the upper eyelid. The eyebrow is accessed through the eyelid incision and is loosened from the underlying tissues. The eyebrow is then held in the new position with stitches or a small implant.
I have read about this procedure but have never met anyone who has had it. I suspect the effects would be subtle as it is effectively a type of endoscopic brow lift (see above).
5. Mid-Forehead Brow Lift.
In the mid-forehead brow lift, horizontal incisions are made in the middle of the forehead. This is likely to make the scars very noticeable and would usually only be performed when the patient has very strong horizontal frown lines that the surgeon can hide the scars in. I do not recommend this procedure, I only include it here to be thorough.
6. Direct Brow Lift.
This is the simplest technique and involves cutting out a strip of skin along the top edge of the eyebrow and stitching the resulting gap closed to lift the eyebrow. This leaves a scar along the top of the eyebrow. I strongly recommend against this technique and have seen some very poor results with very visible scarring.