Can My Forehead and Brow Bone Be Reduced On One Side?

Q: Hi. i am an 18 year old male who is looking at getting something done to flatten my forehead and reduce my brow ridge, as I am unhappy with how it looks. i just wanted to know if I am a bit young to be getting something like this done? Also I play a fair bit of soccer so would like to know if it would affect how I header the ball permanently if I was to get surgery like this? Also would the scarring be noticable if it were not on the hairline?

A: From your description, it appears that one side of your forehead is more protrusive than the other, giving you forehead and brow asymmetry. The surgical technique for brow reduction is more effective than forehead reduction. The middle and tail of the brow bone (which is usually the most noticeable) can be burred down fairly significantly. The forehead bone that extends above it, however, can not be so significantly reduced. The outer table of the forehead bone (cranium) is only about 5mms or so thick before the diploic space is entered. From a practical standpoint, you don’t want to be reducing the bone into the diploic space so only about 4mms or so of bone can be reduced. While this would make some difference, the brow reduction and shaping would be more significant. The other important issue is that to do the forehead reduction, a large coronal scalp incision would be needed. This creates it own aesthetic issues and the trade-off of the scar for the amount of forehead reduction may not be a good one.

Doing the brow bone reduction, however, can be done through an upper eyelid incision. Given this hidden scar and for the amount of brow improvement, this would be a much better trade-off.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana