Can An Incision Be Used On The Back Of The Head In Men For Brow Bone Or Forehead Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I understand that recontouring of the frontal bone is a procedure that is not often done in male patients due to the scalp  scar. The problem that I have is that the upper portion of my frontal bone protrudes over the supraorbital ridge.  In addition to this, I have an evident asymmetry in the area of the superior temporal line on the left side of my skull. My question is would these two issues be capable of being addressing by burr and synthetic materials as appropriate, and as for the required incision, as an alternative to a coronal flap incision, would an incision on the back of the head be used so as to conceal the scar given the possibility of male pattern baldness?

A: In answer to your question about what type of incision may be possible in a male for brow bone and/or forehead surgery, the picture of a potential incision you have shown (the wrap-around occipital incision) is not one that can be used. While anything can be done on a drawing or on paper, it is impractical to use for brow bone or forehead surgery. To really reach this area and work on it adequately, the scalp and forehead tissues must be 'flipped' down to see the area. That incision is so far back that it would be difficult if not completely impossible to work under so much scalp tissue from so far away.  This is more than just theory for me as I have tried such incisional approaches and can testify to the difficulties that they pose. The problem is not that you can not access as low as the brow bone area with am occipital coronal incision, it is that any bone modifications or material additions that one does becomes very hard to get them smooth or even at such a distance. And if you don't have some assurance that a good aesthetic improvement can be obtained then that defeats the purpose of doing the operation in the first place. That being said, if the back end of the incision is moved up by 5 to 6 cms in the high occipital area, then it can be used for brow bone or forehead modifications.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana