How Does It Take The Nerves To Recover From Brow Bone Reduction Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m happy with the outcome and feel that you did a really good job with the overall look of the forehead. There’s still a somewhat noticeable protrusion on the right side of the forehead where the implant meets the skull unlike the left side which blends perfectly but it’s not something I’d want to undergo a corrective surgery for. I’m attaching some pictures for your files and did have a couple of questions to ask regarding some symptoms I’ve experienced following the surgery.

The first has been heavy hair fallout along the scar line, which you can see in the last two pictures. Is this normal to experience and if so, could I expect the lost hair grow back eventually?

The second have been sharp daily pains along my right temple and above my right brow. The pain usually doesn’t last very long but comes on strong and seemingly out of nowhere. It feels like a needle poking sensation. This happens maybe 3-5 times a day, and rubbing the forehead usually helps subside the pain. Is this a common occurrence 2+ months out and is it temporary?

A: In answer to your brow bone reduction recovery questions:

1) Hair shedding is not atypical along the incisions line and is a reaction to the trauma of surgery. Some et very little while others get more. Shedding should not be confused with with hair loss or death of the follicles. I would expected most of the shafts that have been shed too exhibit regrowth which unfortunately is a slow process given the .1mm per day hair growth that occurs once the follicles reactivate. A helpful aid is to apply Rogainje along the incision line nightly. That can expedite the hair regeneration since that has largely a vascular enhancing (vasodilator) effect. 

2) The dysesthetic nerve symptoms that youare feeling is undoubtedly related to the sensory nerves that are affected in brow bone reduction surgery, most commonly the supraorbital nerves which supply feeling to the forehead. As these nerves regain feeling they typically come back which a variety of abnormal sensations such as shooting pains, itchiness, etc. This is also why they feel better when you rub the forehead (like shaking your hand when you burn or hit it), it causes other story fibers to fire which over ride the and abnormal sensations. At the least I expect much more nerve recovery than you now which can take up to a year for maximum to full recovery…which many patients do experience. So yes at this point this is normal part of the recovery process.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana