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Body Contouring (post bariatric surgery) Face Breast Body Non-Invasive

Brow Lift

Brow lift (also known as forehead lift)

Brow Lift IowaAs men and women age, they may start to notice that their eyebrows seem to be settling lower over their eyes. The furrows and wrinkles in the forehead start to deepen and frown lines begin to form.

These effects can cause the eyelids to droop and become saggy. These forehead furrows and saggy eyelids can make patients look tired or angry, even when they are completely relaxed. Many patients feel that their aging forehead makes them appear older than they really are. They desire the youthful, refreshed look that a brow/forehead lift can provide.   

Many women, as well as men, choose brow lift surgery to help their face regain the bright, smoother look of their former years. Some of these patients will elect to have the brow lift in conjunction with another facial treatment, such as an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), or cosmetic nose surgery (rhinoplasty), or even a facelift. There are some circumstances where procedures other than a brow lift may be a better choice for you. In some cases injections such as Botox or fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm can treat problem areas (such as wrinkles at rest), especially for younger patients. Dr. Cram will discuss your concerns and treatment options at your initial consultative appointment.

The Brow lift Patient

Each patient is unique. Therefore, Dr. Cram handles each brow lift as an individualized and specialized treatment. There are many factors that affect the brow lift procedure and the results that can be expected. The patient’s age, health, whether the patient is a smoker or non-smoker and elasticity of the skin are all taken into consideration before preparing a plan for surgery. Iowa City Plastic Surgery staff will ask you about your overall health, including any diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid disease that may affect your abilities to tolerate anesthesia and heal properly. Please let us know if you are currently taking any medications, over-the-counter or prescription. Dr. Cram will discuss all aspects of the treatment, including the surgical procedure, anesthesia, the risks and costs involved, the Mercy Hospital of Iowa City facility and the expected recovery time.

The Brow lift procedure

There are a variety of ways to elevate the brow and correct problems in the forehead area. Dr. Cram will closely examine your entire forehead and upper eyelid region, noting the muscle activity when you assume various facial expressions. The particular surgical technique that your surgeon recommends will depend on many factors including the position of your eyebrows, the amount of excess upper eyelid skin and the height and configuration of your hairline.

In a brow lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the forehead furrows and droopiness are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. A brow lift may be necessary to completely relieve the effects of excess upper eyelid skin.

Dr. Cram performs different types of brow lift surgeries depending on your anatomy and desires. During the initial consultation, they will determine which procedure is best suited to achieve that smooth, refreshed look and more relaxed and pleasant appearance. He will describe the pros and cons of the different types of procedure that might be useful in your specific situation.

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Traditional brow lift

The traditional (or conventional) brow lift is considered the gold standard and has been performed and perfected for decades. In this surgery, a long incision is made within the hairline and extends from just above the right ear to just above the left ear. Surgeons can alter or remove the muscles causing frown lines and can remove small amounts of scalp and keep the incisions within the hairline allowing a lifting of the brows.  In some cases the incision is better placed at the edge of the hairline, and only an examination by the surgeons can determine which of these incisions might work best for you.  Results are dramatic and long lasting.

Endoscopic brow lift

The endoscopic brow lift is a relatively new procedure and involves multiple smaller incisions which allow the surgeon to insert an endoscope within the incisions to determine which tissues to alter in order to tighten and tone the forehead. This technique is not suitable for every patient.

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Suture lift

The suture brow lift involves the placement of sutures internally, in the brow, which are then pulled upward and fastened internally near the hairline. While this procedure is gaining in popularity because of its less invasive format (with far fewer incisions), there are circumstances where it will not meet the patient’s goals and one of the other techniques will be necessary.


Dr. Cram typically performs brow lifts for patients under general anesthesia, however, in a few instances, brow lifts can also be done under local anesthesia with sedation. While the procedure is normally done on an outpatient basis, you may be required to stay in the hospital up to 24 hours while we monitor your incisions. The choice of anesthetic technique will be discussed during your consultation. Patient safety and comfort are our primary concern, and the anesthetic will be chosen with these two parameters in mind.

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Iowa City Plastic Surgery will explain where your incisions will occur and how to best meet your overall expectations before surgery. Your surgery will be performed at Mercy Hospital of Iowa City. A comprehensive team, including Dr. Cram who will perform the surgery, will monitor your vitals before, during and after surgery. Mercy Hospital nurses and anesthesiologists are caring, professional and dedicated staff with your comfort and safety as their first priority. Most brow lifts will take between 1 – 3 hours, depending on your age and complexity of the procedure. Depending on the incisions, you may need to have drainage tubes for the first 24 hours and your head will be bandaged to help prevent excessive bleeding and/or swelling.


Following surgery, you will be given pain medications to deal with the discomfort. Your face may appear bruised, swollen and discolored for the first few days after surgery. You can expect some numbness, which will go away over time following surgery. Iowa City Plastic Surgery recommends a schedule light with activity and we request that for the first few days, you keep your head elevated above heart level even when sleeping. You will need a responsible adult with you immediately after surgery and to help you when you first return home. Our staff will monitor your recovery closely after your procedure. Many patients are shocked at how they look immediately following a brow lift, but in a few weeks, the patient’s incisions have healed, swelling has eased and patients are delighted with the results. Most patients return to work 10 -14 days after their brow lift. Your hair will help to hide any scarring, which will diminish over time. The result will be a noticeable change in the contour, tightness and youthful appearance of your skin.

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Risks and Complications

With any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications. Bleeding and infection are two risks of any operation and could occur in a brow lift as well. There is a possibility of an inability to raise the eyebrows and numbness of the skin as it is healing, though this is not common. Sudden swelling, increased pain or excessive bleeding should be reported to Iowa City Plastic Surgery immediately. Despite our best efforts there is always the possibility that one of these complications could occur. In that event, the patient and the surgeon must remain a team, and work together to obtain the best outcome possible under the circumstances.


The cost of the procedure will depend on the complexity of the browlift as well as the cost of the operating room and the anesthesiologist fees. The patient is usually given the information on cost at the time of the first consultation. The cost quote from Iowa City Plastic Surgery will include the preoperative visits, the surgery, the routine post operative visits, and the hospital and anesthesiologists fees.  It is important to understand what the price quote includes so that the total cost of surgery is determined.

Initial Consultation

Every procedure starts with a private, informative consultation with Dr. Cram. We invite you to call and schedule your consult with us today at 319-337-3740. We see and treat patients from the Midwest, North America and all over the world.

Click here for more information on Brow Lift (Forehead Lift).

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Plastic Surgery Iowa Dr Albert E Cram | Plastic Surgeon | Iowa