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Perforating Frontal Branch of the Superficial Temporal Artery as Related to Subcutaneous Forehead Lift

Jo, Yong Woo MD, MS*; Hwang, Kun MD, PhD; Huan, Fan RN, MS; Kim, Sang Hyun MS†‡; Han, Seung Ho MD, DMSc

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31826685a2
Anatomical Studies

The aim of this study was to elucidate the precise anatomy of the perforating branch of the superficial temporal artery in relation to subcutaneous forehead lift (SFL).

Ten hemifaces of 6 fresh adult Korean cadavers were used in this study. In 4 hemifaces, following injection of red latex, dissection was performed. In 2 hemifaces, following injection of methylene blue solution into the perforator, the area of discoloration was observed. An artery perforating the frontalis muscle into skin of the forehead was identified in 18 foreheads of 9 patients who underwent SFL. Measurements were taken of the external diameter and the location of the perforator.

Perforating branches originating from the frontal branch of the superficial temporal artery, perforating the frontalis muscle into skin of the forehead, were observed in all 10 of the dissected hemifaces. Thereafter, it was referred to as the perforating frontal artery (PFA). Skin of the ipsilateral mid-forehead was discolored by methylene blue solution. Most of the PFA (83%) was included in a circle having a radius of 8.9 mm. The center of the circle was located 40.5 mm from the midline on the x axis and 53.6 mm from the supraorbital rim (on the y axis). The center of the circle was located at 89.8% of the length of the midline to the lateral canthus (x axis) and 79.1% of the length of the supraorbital rim to the hairline (y axis).

Plastic surgeons can use the PFA in order to achieve sufficient circulation of the skin flap. When surgeons are required to sacrifice the PFA in order to achieve flap mobilization, they can safely cauterize the PFA after isolation without causing accidental burn injury to the skin flap. In addition, the PFA might be useful in creation of local or distant flaps for reconstruction of the forehead or scalp.

From the *Dream Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Clinic, Seoul, and Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, and †Department of Plastic Surgery, and Center for Advanced Medical Education by BK21 project, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon; and ‡Department of Anatomy and Institute for Applied Anatomy, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Received May 10, 2012.

Accepted for publication June 24, 2012.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Kun Hwang, Department of Plastic Surgery, and Center for Advanced Medical Education by BK21 project, Inha University School of Medicine, 7-206 Sinheung-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, 400-711, Korea; E-mail: jokerhg@inha.ac.kr

This work was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (KRF 2008-521-E00002).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD