Brow Bone Reduction Surgery Questions

Q: Dr. Eppley, I was thinking about brow bone reduction surgery and I have two questions:

1) Will the screw/plate/etc in my skull interfere with airport security?

2) Is the brow bone reduction surgery something that is often re-done or come with complications? I was a bit startled when the form said 15% of patients want surgeries to be re-done. If something goes wrong, I won’t have time to get surgery redone because I will have to go back to school.

A: In answer to your brow bone reduction questions:

1) The 1 plate and 4 small screws used to hold the bone flap in place as it heals are made of titanium, a non ferromagnetic metal. This will not interfere with airport scanners or having MRIs.

2) It is important to realize that any surgery has a risk of revisional surgery, whose percentage risk varies dependent on the type of procedure performed. The risks that we are mainly referring to are largely aesthetic in nature and are often issues that patients see and are not necessarily medically needed. For example such risks as asymmetry or a slight irregularity here or there. There are other more major risks, such as infection, although tis is to something I have seen in this type of facial surgery.

While revisional surgery in brow bone reduction is not common, it is wise that the patient be aware that it exists and it is a potential sequelae of this or any surgery. Surgery is not like putting puzzle pieces together. The factors of how human tissues respond and heal to surgical manipulation is not a completely predictable phenomenon.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana