Brow Lift Recovery: Tips + What To Expect

Written by Cameron Craven, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on February 4, 2020 One Comment

brow lift procedure

Brow lift surgery (sometimes referred to as a forehead lift) is an outpatient surgical procedure with the ability to correct a sagging brow, eliminate deep wrinkles, and make the forehead area appear more youthful.

Are you considering a brow lift procedure but have concerns about recovery? This post will outline the typical downtime experience many patients face after undergoing a brow lift, including a basic recovery timeline. We will also discuss simple tips to make brow lift recovery as fast and easy as possible.

Note: It’s very important for readers to understand that the brow lift recovery experience can differ greatly from patient to patient based on several factors including the type surgical technique performed and the body’s natural recovery response. Individual patient experiences may differ. Please discuss recovery in detail with your surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure.

Recovery Timeline: Milestones & Restrictions

1-3 days following surgery: Patients may experience nausea stemming from anesthesia used during the surgery. Mild to moderate pain and discomfort (specifically the feeling or tightness in the forehead) is also common for the first few days post procedure. Any pain can be effectively managed with prescription pain medication. Patients may also experience itching sensations at the incision sites. This is a normal part of the healing process which may last for a couple of weeks. Patients should avoid rubbing or itching the surgical area. Swelling and bruising along the surgical area will also be its worse during this time. Patients should sleep with their heads alleviated and periodically apply cold compress to minimize discomfort.

1 week following surgery: Many patients experience a dramatic reduction in pain and discomfort. Bruising and swelling, while still apparent, is also significantly reduced. Stitches and staples are often removed around 7 days post-procedure. Any dressings or bandages that were positioned along the forehead or scalp will no longer need to be worn. Patients can start taking showers but must clean incision area daily and apply antibiotic ointment. Patients may be asked to wear a tennis headband at all times of the day (except when showering).

10 days after surgery: By the 10-day mark many patients are cleared to go back to work or school and perform non-strenuous daily activities. Patients only need to wear their headbands while sleeping.

2-3 weeks following surgery: Fixation screws (if utilized during the procedure) are often removed in about two weeks. Swelling and bruising continues to fade and the results of the procedure start becoming apparent. During this time the brows may appear to be overly elevated. The brows will, however, settle to a lower and more natural position after healing. Some patients may be cleared to being wearing makeup. Patients no longer need to clean incisions or apply antibiotic ointment. Patients also no longer need to wear their headband.

4-6 weeks following surgery: Patients begin to see the final results of their procedure as most or all swelling and bruising dissipates. Most patients are fully recovered and can resume even the most strenuous physical activity.

6 months following surgery: After much healing, the brows have settled into their final position yielding the final result of the procedure.

Tips for a Speedy Brow Lift Recovery

  • Make sure to follow all post-surgery instructions from your surgeon.
  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines for two weeks after surgery
  • Attend all post-op appointments as scheduled by your provider.
  • Give yourself ample time off from work.
  • Find a good caregiver to help you during the first week. If you have young children, you’ll likely need help with them.
  • Do not wear contacts until cleared by your provider (glasses are fine).
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or smoking cigarettes for 2-3 weeks post procedure.
  • Do not take any medications that are not cleared by your surgeon.
  • Use an ice pack or cold compress to help address bruising/swelling.
  • Sleep with your head elevated.
  • Get lots of rest and sleep.
  • Eat light and healthy foods and drink lots of water.
  • Use natural or saline eye drops to address dry, irritate eyes.
  • Avoid over-exertion by getting lots of rest throughout the day.


Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.

One Response to “Brow Lift Recovery: Tips + What To Expect”

  1. Avatar Kate says:

    It’s good to know that you can go to work after 10 days!

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