Definition and Overview
Forehead correction is a type of cosmetic surgery commonly performed to improve the appearance of the forehead, such as to soften a masculine-looking forehead to make it appear more feminine or reduce its size if it appears too wide. The procedure involves restructuring the bones and using other techniques to achieve the patient’s desired results. Although safe and effective, forehead correction is a major surgical procedure that requires general anaesthesia.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
Forehead correction surgery is most commonly used to correct the following forehead problems:
Abnormally wide forehead – Patients with an excessively high or large forehead may seek to undergo corrective surgery to make the size of their forehead proportional with the rest of their facial features. The patient can choose between a hairline lowering procedure (using hair grafting) or forehead reduction surgery, or a combination of both.
Too masculine-looking forehead – Some women are bothered with having a masculine-looking and bony forehead that is typically characterised by a heavier brow ridge, which is the area located above the eyes and just below the brows. Forehead correction surgery can be performed to achieve a softer, more feminine-looking forehead. This procedure is more specifically known as forehead recontouring or facial feminization surgery.
Unpleasant projection angle – The projection angle is the slanting area in the middle of the forehead and the nose. This can be adjusted using different techniques to achieve different looks, such as a steeper forehead.
Frontal bone fracture – Forehead correction procedures are also used to repair foreheads that are damaged or fractured due to trauma or injury.
Depressed or dented forehead – This can be corrected by adjusting the bones that cause them or through lipofilling to fill up the dented area.
Dominant frontal bossing – If the frontal bossing is too dominant, it gives a person what is sometimes called the “Neanderthal” look. Surgery can either remove the dominant bone or reduce it to flatten the forehead.
How the Procedure Works
As a major cosmetic procedure, a forehead correction surgery requires adequate preparation, which the surgeon can help the patient with during pre-surgical consultations. The procedure begins with the administration of general anaesthesia. Once it takes effect, the surgeon will make an incision along the hairline to access the bones of the forehead.
The exact method to be used will depend on the specific goals of the procedure. For a patient to understand what can be done during a forehead correction, it is important for him to know about the different structures that make up the forehead. These include:
- Frontal or brow bossing – The bony ridge located above the eyes, which is made up of a solid bone on the outer part, a concave area on top and a hollow area in the middle.
- Orbital bones – The bones surrounding the eyes
- Frontal sinus – The hollow area between the eyebrows
Meanwhile, techniques that can be used to achieve the patient's desired results can include one or more of the following:
- Remove or reduce the size of the frontal bone
- Shave the bones
- Fill up hollow areas using bone cement or methylmethaccrylate
- Remove and reshape a plate of bone in the frontal sinus and then put it back using small screws
- Fat transfer or fat grafting, or filling up hollowed areas with fat
- Shifting the orbital bones
- Hair grafting
Lipofilling, also known as fat grafting or fat injection, is a recent development in forehead correction surgery. It involves transplanting the patient’s own fat into the forehead where it is needed. Many people prefer it for forehead recontouring because of the following benefits:
- It minimises the risk of scarring
- It produces realistic results
After the procedure, the patient will have to stay in the hospital until the effects of the anaesthesia wear off. All incisions will be covered with a sterile dressing to protect the wound from the risk of infection. The normal recovery time is between two and three weeks, but in some cases, patients can already resume their normal activities after 2 or 3 days following the procedure. After a week, patients need to go back for a follow-up and have the stitches removed.
Possible Risks and Complications
Before undergoing forehead correction surgery, patients are strongly advised to carefully consider various aspects of the procedure. Although considered safe, all surgical procedures come with a certain degree of risk such as:
The patient should also make adjustments for the recovery period, during which he may expect to experience a noticeable degree of swelling and bruising that may extend down towards the eyes.
Also, it is normal for the surgeon to shave the brows prior to a forehead correction surgery, which means the patient would have to go some time without his brows.
- Codere F, Tucker N. Cosmetic blepharoplasty and browplasty. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 12.16.