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What is a brow lift?

Heavy, hooded brows and deep forehead furrows can leave you looking permanently tired or angry, as well as prematurely aged. A forehead lift corrects a fallen brow for a more alert, rested appearance that helps you look more youthful.

Facial rejuvenation specialist Dr. Otto Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. In addition to brow lifts, Dr. Placik offers a full range of other facial rejuvenation procedures and med spa treatments that can help you look younger and more refreshed.

Forehead Lift

Please contact us online or call our plastic surgery offices for more information on our Chicago brow lift surgery, including prices.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.


About Brow Lift Surgery

Although the forehead may not seem like a particularly age-affected area of the face, brow appearance and position can visibly change over time as part of the aging process. This occurs as muscles weaken and gravity continues pulling downward on skin and supportive tissues. Deep horizontal lines, a brow that seems to overshadow the eyes or a facial expression that seems to look permanently upset are all indicators that you may be a good candidate for a brow lift. A heavy or low set brow may also contribute or aggravate the appearance of redundant upper eyelid skin.

Dr. Placik takes great care to adopt a subtle approach when it comes to a forehead lift so your results look natural, never “done.” For the best outcome, Dr. Placik may recommend combining a brow lift with additional procedures like eyelid surgery to help restore a more youthful look to the eye area, or a facelift for skin laxity and advanced signs of aging through the lower face, neck and jowls.

Forehead or Brow Lift Options

A variety of different approaches are available for elevating the brow or forehead. The choice of incision will vary according to patient goals, anatomy and gender. These incisions are described below and referenced in the labeled figure.

1. The Bicoronal Lift: this is the traditional approach for brow lifting. It is highly effective but requires a long scar extending from ear to ear across the top of the scalp. The scalp is excised to create a permanent lift. The scar may be visible in certain conditions (coming out of the pool with wet parted hair). Modifications such as zig-zagging the scar may make this less noticeable. Numbness of the scalp is common. Good choice for women with a short forehead (less than 5 cm) and high hair density. The muscles responsible for frown lines and forehead wrinkles can be treated.

2. The Endoscopic Lift: this is performed through 3-5 small 1-2cm incisions placed just behind the hairline. Surgery is performed using an endoscope. No tissue is excised and these tend to be the least visible scars. Fixation is required to maintain the lift. This is generally preferred in young women or men with a short forehead or thinning hair or in men with a receding hairline. The muscles responsible for frown lines can be treated.

3. The Pretrichial (Hairline/Trichophytic) Lift: this is a zig-zag incision placed just IN FRONT of the hairline. This is used to both reduce the appearance of a long forehead (more than 5 cm) or to advance the hairline forward. This is accomplished by excising extra forehead skin (and NOT scalp). The incision is beveled in order to promote hair growth through the scar which also helps to conceal the scar. The zig-zag results in a more naturally random appearance while avoiding the more telltale straight line lift. It does not address the forehead muscles but can treat excess skin.

4. The Temporal or Short Scar Lift: This is best used to treat the flat eyebrow or sagging affecting the outer portions of the eyebrow. The incision is about 4 cm long and placed in the temporal recess (the receding portion of the hairline).

5. The Direct Brow Lift: This incision Is placed directly above the eyebrow. Skin is excised in a pattern to create the desired lift. It has the potential for the most visible scar but usually results in a fine line. It may be a preferred option in men with little or no hairline or in individuals with one sided brow ptosis (sagging) commonly associated with a nerve injury or Bell’s palsy. It is best concealed in those with prominent forehead lines, prior trauma or injury.

6. The Transblepharoplasty Browpexy: This is performed at the same time as an upper lid blepharoplasty and through the same incision. No additional scars are necessary. When performing skin removal from the upper eyelid, the eyebrow may actually be pulled downwards very slightly. To some degree this is not a lift and more a method to hold or “fix” the eyebrow in place and minimize downward traction with the blepharoplasty. Very subtle elevations can be accomplished because any excessive upwards displacement of the eyebrow will produce skin gathering above the brow. For that reason, it is considered a browpexy and not a brow Lift. It is commonly for those with an already low brow, with a receding hairline who are already planning to undergo and upper eyelid lift. The frown muscles can be resected through this approach.

Chicago Brow Lift

Brow Lift Surgery FAQ

Am I a candidate?

The best candidates for a forehead lift are troubled by sagging brows, prominent wrinkles and frown lines or droopiness at the outer eyelids, which is also referred to as hooding. These concerns may be related to your chronological age, or may reflect a genetic predisposition toward a lower brow placement.

Will a brow lift get rid of my frown lines?

While a forehead lift can certainly help minimize many of the signs of aging through the brow area, sometimes a combination approach works best to deliver the most positive possible outcome. For example, a brow lift can help diminish significant frown lines, but Dr. Placik may recommend BOTOX® to enhance and maintain those results.

What’s the best age for a forehead lift?

The decision about who the best candidates may be for a brow lift is based more on their needs and cosmetic goals than on a specific age range. Most forehead lift patients fall somewhere between age 40 and 60, although many men and women choose to adopt a proactive method toward fine lines and wrinkles using nonsurgical treatments from our med spa before committing to surgery.

How much does a brow lift cost?

The total cost of your brow lift will depend on many different variables, from the level of correction that Dr. Placik recommends to whether complementary procedures are performed during your appointment. Costs will include the fee for the anesthesiologist and the surgical center in addition to Dr. Placik’s fee. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

What can I expect during surgery and recovery?

Typically, a brow lift in Chicago is performed on an outpatient basis, so you can plan on returning home the same day as your surgery to start your recovery. You can expect some swelling and bruising at first, although this should dissipate rapidly within the first week to 10 days. Most patients can return to work about a week after surgery, although more vigorous exercise and activities should wait until Dr. Placik gives you the go-ahead.

What are the risks?

The risks associated with brow lift surgery are minor, and are similar to any other surgery: reactions to anesthesia, bleeding or infection, for example. Side effects like nerve damage, changes in sensation and hair loss at the incision site are all possible risks of forehead surgery although they are rarer.

Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about brow lift surgery, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Updated March 24th, 2020

With businesses all around us closing by either mandate or voluntarily you may be wondering how long we will continue to operate, or even why we are still open at this point.

After serious consideration and in line with the recommendations of our State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are limiting the practice until April 7th.

We are diligently monitoring conditions and recommendations from professional organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and understand that the situation is ever-changing and may alter our plans at any point in the future

As physicians, we are cognizant of protecting our own patient population most at risk and the need to conserve our own limited resources. Actions have already been taken to postpone or cancel appointments and surgeries for patients who are best served staying home to limit potential exposure. We have also canceled or rescheduled appointments for services that are not immediately necessary in many cases.

Effective immediately the following will occur:

  • All procedures and in-person consultations will be limited until April 7th. This may be revised in the following week.
  • The office will be (not fully) staffed, and we will see our urgent post-surgical follow-ups.
  • We are instituting Virtual Consultations for all potential patients.
  • Many surgeries are rescheduled and some of the ones that are committed will occur on a per case basis.
  • No patient will ever have any financial recourse for our fees for rescheduling their procedures.

We are constantly updating our services and staffing according to the local and national recommendations and will always place your health and well-being as our top priority.

We continue to exercise all the latest recommendations that are handed down by the CDC. These include:

Staff have been fully informed and trained to understand the disease process and its modes of transmission.

  • All staff, vendors and ancillary personnel are being asked to refrain from coming to this office if they have any signs or symptoms of a cold or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Every patient is also being asked to refrain from coming to the office if they have any symptoms.
  • We are asking our patients about any pertinent travel history.
  • Hand-washing continues to be the most important mode of prevention. Although it is a part of what we constantly do, now we are doing so with heightened vigilance and attention.
  • We have instituted a “no handshakes no hug” policy for now.
  • We have asked all vendors that any unnecessary meetings are canceled until further notice.
  • Any exit and entrance from our office are followed by a protocol of changing shoes, scrubs and sanitization.
  • As we are an (NO accredited) medical facility, we are constantly sanitizing all surfaces. We have now vamped that up and our routine, multiple times a day, wiping down all surfaces, desks, door handles, keyboards and restroom facilities. (We have assigned a person that does so on a constant basis.)

As previous communications have shared, procedures and protocols have been put in place (and continue to evolve) to protect our employees in the workplace. However, no one can guarantee the absolute protection from infection or potential exposure despite recommended precautions being taken.

The virus can be transmitted before an infected person starts exhibiting symptoms. It is possible for a person to be infected and also not experience symptoms. We are doing everything possible to prevent people exposed or exhibiting symptoms from access to our facilities. Even with all of our precautions, exposure to patients with the COVID-19 virus can happen. When we become aware of any potential exposure, our response is immediate and actions are taken to protect everyone directly involved.

Experts are predicting that 40% of the Chicagoland population will be infected within the next month. Current information demonstrates that for 97% of the people infected the symptoms will be mild or flu-like. 3-5% of patients will require hospital care, and the mortality rate is less than 2%.

Risk of exposure will occur at every touchpoint of our daily lives outside of our home-- including gas stations, grocery stores, and medical facilities.

Although Covid-19 is a serious issue, we strongly believe that it will pass and hopefully make our infrastructure and our ability to deal with pandemics in this Country even better than it currently is. We are monitoring this situation on a real-time basis and will not sit back until we know that we have done everything possible to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Here are some links that might be useful:

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to answer your questions

Please allow us time to respond.

Call us at our current phone line to leave a non-urgent message or via our online email, contact form, virtual consultation or apex chat service popup box. As always for any emergency services, please call 911