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Can a Brow Lift Fail?

While it is uncommon, brow lifts can fail. This can happen due to issues in the surgery process or the subsequent healing process that lead to the brow not settling properly in its new position, or due to the wounds becoming infected.

Cosmetic surgery often involves the removal of tissue or cartilage, therefore making the affected area less stable. This can lead to issues later down the line, such as sagging, or the more immediate failure of the surgery. Brow lift failure may be indicated by a sudden, painful swelling of the affected area or asymmetry. If you suffer from any of these symptoms of a failed or infected brow lift, you should seek medical help immediately.

Even successful procedures can bring risks. Brow lift procedures can sometimes result in light scarring, numbness in the forehead and issues with the hairline, such as hair loss in the affected area or elevation of the hairline. It is vital that you are aware of the risks involved in any procedure before agreeing to undergo cosmetic surgery.

In the following guide, the team at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors explain the brow lift procedure, how to reduce the chances of brow lift failure and what you may be able to do if the procedure goes wrong.

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What is the brow lift procedure?

Also known as a 'forehead lift', brow lifts can be done in one of five different methods. Which method your cosmetic surgeon uses for your procedure depends on your face shape and skin, such as the amount of excess skin or the height of your hairline or eyebrows. Different methods may also produce slightly different results, which can vary widely between patients as every person's facial structure is different.

The five brow lift methods used in the UK are:

  • Endoscopic brow lift - small incisions are made behind the hairline, allowing for the surgeon to lift the skin and underlying muscle tissues and pin them in an elevated position using sutures or screws. The surgeon will also insert a camera through one of the incisions to monitor the process
  • Temporal brow lift - small incisions are made near the temples to pin the skin and muscle tissues up in the same way as is done in an endoscopic brow lift
  • Direct brow lift - a quicker method which involves the removal of skin from above the eyebrows. Direct brow lifts are ideal for patients with bushy eyebrows which can hide any leftover scarring
  • Coronal brow lift - the lifting of the entire forehead over an incision made from ear to ear. Coronal brow lifts are best for patients with a high hairline or for those with more significant hair loss
  • Hairline brow lift - an incision is made below the hairline to allow skin and tissue to be removed. This is typically done to lower the hairline, so it is ideal for those with hair loss

What is the healing process following a brow lift?

Following a brow lift, your cosmetic surgeon may bind your forehead to keep it in place and use a tube to drain any excess fluid from the wound. They should then provide you with instructions on how to ensure the healing process goes smoothly.

  • To have the best chances of success when healing a brow lift, you should:
  • Sleep with your head elevated by pillows
  • Gently apply cold compresses until the swelling goes down
  • Avoid any exercise that may put strain on the affected area, including stretching or lifting heavy objects
  • Avoid submerging your head with water as this can cause bacteria to enter the wound, try to take baths or avoid putting your head directly under the shower head

You may find that the affected area becomes itchy after a couple of days, but you should refrain from touching it as this can cause any stitches to come loose and spread bacteria from your hands.

Your surgeon will request that you remove any bandages after three days have passed; they may do this for you and inspect your healing progress. After a maximum of ten days, your surgeon will remove any sutures. You can expect swelling to last for several weeks, so continue to use cold compresses and keep in touch with your surgeon, who will monitor your progress and inform you when you can return to your usual hair washing process.

What should I do if I think something has gone wrong with my brow lift?

If you are concerned that something has gone wrong with your surgery, you should first seek medical assistance. If you believe that your surgeon is responsible for your issues, you should seek help from an independent medical professional, such as your GP. After a diagnosis, the medical professional will be able to inform you as to the likely cause of the error and how to resolve it, such as through corrective surgery.

Your GP will also be able to inform you as to whether your surgeon is to blame for your suffering. Medical negligence (or clinical negligence, as it is sometimes called) is the neglecting of standards for care set by UK law. All medical practitioners are legally held to a duty of care; if they breach this duty of care, they can be liable for any damage they have caused.

If the following is true, you may be able to make a cosmetic surgery compensation claim against your cosmetic surgeon:

  • Your medical professional's negligence directly caused your surgical procedure to go wrong
  • You have suffered due to your surgery gone wrong, physically, emotionally or financially

If you believe that the above applies to your situation, you should speak to a cosmetic surgery claims solicitor, such as those among our team. We will help you to gather evidence that proves that you deserve compensation following your failed brow lift. We will facilitate any communications between you and the other parties involved, and we will represent you in court if it comes to that. Learn more about how cosmetic surgery compensation is calculated.

Consider speaking to us as soon as possible as the quicker you do the better chance you will have of securing compensation. Call Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors today on 0808 189 7704 for a no-obligation chat. Alternatively, fill out an online contact form and we will call you back at a time suitable for you.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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