Is A Browlift Needed When A Brow Bone Reduction Is Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to get my forehead reduced so it can be the flattest it can be. However I’m not sure of which approach to take. I heard that with the burring its only a limit to how far you can take it but with the set back you can accomplish more with greater results. However from what I’m told the set back can’t be hidden well and you’ll be able to tell where your bone was broken removed and repaired with screws cements or whatever you guys use to hold it into its new position Is it an additional price from the average burring technique and do you also lift the bones of the eyebrows into a new place to heighten them or you just simply lift the muscle and skin around the bones to raise the brows.

A: Everything that you are saying or have heard about brow bone reduction is relatively true. It would be very rare that a burring technique alone can significantly reduce prominent brow bones or make them as flat as possible. Thus, the formal brow bone setback is the better procedure to do for maximal change.It is true that in the thinner-skinned forehead patient it may be possible to potentially see the outline of the brow bone work. But I have learned to lessen the likelihood of this problem by either avoiding or minimizing the use of any plates and screws (use mainly resorbable sutures if possible) , use only very miniature plates and screws (1mm profile) if they are used, be meticulous about contouring the surrounding bone into and around the setback area and using a thin film or overlay of hydroxyapatite cement over the setback area for smoothness. Whether a simultaneous internal browlift is done depends on the patient’s current eyebrow positions, the degree of brow bone reduction and the patient’s desires. The internal browlift is done by suturing the underside of the eyebrow area onto the bone of the osteotomized brow bone edges or to any fixation hardware used in the brow bone setback.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana