forehead augmentation

Is A Flat Forehead Fixable?

Can you do anything about a flat forehead?

You have a flat forehead and this makes you feel conscious right? You have plenty of friends that have gone for a nose job, a tummy tuck or a chin reshaping but you never heard of anyone opting for a forehead plastic surgery. So does it even exist? We have good news for you.

A flat forehead or “sunken” forehead is more common than you might think. The forehead is a major part of the face and typically takes up to one-third of its total surface area. If the forehead is flat or has sunken bones, the overall facial appearance can be rather unattractive.

A survey that we conducted using photos of the same person was very revealing. We displayed two versions of the same person’s face from a frontal view — one was the original “mug shot” while the other one was a modified version in which we adjusted the shading to make the forehead look a little more sunken, without changing anything else.

More than 70% of the respondents found the modified mug shot more unappealing with some describing the person as “unintelligent” with a resemblance to a “Neanderthal”.

Therefore, forehead augmentation surgery has become an increasingly popular and accepted procedure to help add some volume to the forehead and resurface it in a manner that looks more pleasing and natural.

In some cases, the procedure has the ability to make the entire face look smaller and prettier since wrinkles and other visible imperfections will also be removed when volume is added to the forehead.

 

Flat forehead

What makes you a good candidate for a forehead augmentation surgery?

– Uneven forehead: You have a forehead with an uneven surface or volume.

– Flat forehead or concave forehead: Your forehead has no natural convexity or even has a depression, giving it a hollow appearance.

– Receding forehead: Your forehead recedes sharply backwards starting from the brow up to the hairline.

– Protruding brows: You have overly prominent brows or bone protrusion near the eyebrows, making the forehead very angular in nature even though it is not receding in nature.

Also note that only people deemed physically healthy, with no diagnosed disease or medical condition are considered suitable for this procedure.

What are the techniques for forehead augmentation?

The technique used for forehead augmentation depends largely on the amount of volume needed to attain the desired effect. A flat forehead can be corrected using two techniques: implants or an “autologous” fat graft, i.e. fat grafted from another part of the body. These procedures are performed under local anesthesia and usually take 1-1.5 hours to complete.

Autologous fat graft

If you need to add a small amount of volume to sculpt their forehead, most plastic surgeons will recommend that you opt for the fat graft method rather than using any synthetic material as the former comes with no risk of rejection or infection.

In a forehead augmentation using an autologous fat graft, fat tissues will be harvested from other parts of the body, such as the buttocks, thighs, or abdomen using a thin tube called a cannula. The extracted fat tissue is then placed into a centrifuge to remove impurities. The collected fat tissue (which is rich in stem cells) is then put in small syringes and injected into several areas of the forehead, including the hairline, the central region, and near the top of the nose. Only a small volume of fat (less than 0.1 cc) is injected at a time and distributed evenly between the forehead bones to make sure a balanced and harmonious look is achieved.


flat forehead

Implant

People whose foreheads are drastically lacking volume, especially those with a hollowed-out appearance, may benefit from synthetic implants (such as Silicone or Gore-tex). For this technique, the implants will be customized to fit the unique anatomy of each patient’s forehead. An incision will be made behind the hairline and the implant is inserted and strategically placed. When the surgeon is satisfied with the volume and location of the implant, the incision is closed with sutures and covered with bandages.

Note that a forehead augmentation surgery using an implant comes with significantly higher risks of infection as you are have a foreign body inserted into your forehead. 

 

flat forehead

flat forehead

Source: VG PS

 

Forehead augmentation procedures are often performed as a part of a holistic facial plastic surgery that includes other procedures such as rhinoplasty or jaw line and chin enhancements.

What is the best type of implant used to fix a flat forehead?

Skeletal augmentation can be defined as forehead augmentation with synthetic materials such as silicone, bone cement, and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene.

Ideal implants for facial skeletal augmentation have some desired characteristics as follows:

1) The rigidity of the implant should be similar to bone, so that the external surface of the augmented forehead can feel like bone and mimic the shape of the underlying bone;

2) the inner surface of the implant should be able to fit closely with the underlying bone to minimize gaps between the implant and bone;

3) it should be possible to shape the edges of the implant in a manner that they gradually taper off to either size to ensure a natural appearance; and

4) the implant should be placed and fixed in such a manner that it does not “migrate” or get displaced easily due to trauma. 

Silicone is the most widely used implant material for skeletal augmentation of the forehead. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” shape or size of the implant. Most surgeons usually shape or “fabricate” the a block of silicone to customer or tailor the implant size and shape to match the forehead anatomy and desired aesthetic objectives of each patient. Silicone material is therefore preferred because of the ease of shaping implants made of this material versus other synthetic materials.

What are the recovery timeline and precautions for a forehead augmentation surgery?

A circumferential head dressing will be used after the surgery to control swelling of the forehead and help the overlying tissues bind wit the implanted material and bone.

The forehead will have some swelling but rarely any bruising. More substantial swelling will occur around the eyes and on the eyelids. You will be advised to use ice packs for the first three days after the surgery and keep your head up higher than the heart to reduce swelling and. Numbness of the forehead and the front part of the scalp is to be expected, and it will take months for patients to feel totally normal.

Although infection is rare, especially when an autologous fat graft is used instead of an implant, all patients will need to take antibiotics for one week after surgery and take pain medication as needed.

It is possible to go back to a normal daily routine about 10 days after the surgery but contact sports should be avoided at all costs to limit the chances of any trauma to the forehead while is is healing.

How much will a forehead augmentation surgery cost you?

Forehead augmentation surgery ranges from USD 2,800 to USD 5,000 in South Korea which is arguably a global center of excellence for this procedure. Costs vary by surgeon, geographic region, and the complexity of the procedure. Forehead augmentation using purely an autologous fat graft is typically priced at the lower end of this range while the procedure using an implant is priced at the higher end of this range.