The coronal incision used for brow lift procedure has a high rate of localized alopecia, widening, and depression of the scar at the suture line. Other sequelae of the standard coronal brow lift incision procedure are “stretchback” with a recurrent brow ptosis, poor brow elevation, and numbness beyond the incision line. Factors causing alopecia are tension, use of a monopolar cautery, use of key sutures with undue tension, one-layer closure, and sutures left too long. Recurrent brow ptosis may be due to anterior displacement of the posterior scalp flap, stretching of the anterior frontal skin flap, or insufficient power of the weakened frontalis muscle. Poor brow elevation may be due to unsatisfactory dissection on the glabella and orbital rims. Numbness and itching beyond the incision line are due to a low coronal incision.
To avoid these problems, the following principles were followed: (1) If not contraindicated, the incision is made high on the vertex of the head, posterior to a biauricular line. (2) The pericranium is included in the frontal flap starting at the incision lines. (3) The subperiosteal dissection is continued down to the orbital rims and nasal bones. (4) The release of the periosteum at the arcus marginalis or just above allows repositioning of the brow structures. (5) The inelastic pericranium maintains the position of the elevated structures and avoids stretching of the frontal skin. (6) The integrity of the frontalis muscle is maintained completely. (7) Two large triangles of scalp resected in the posterior flaps allow fixing the position of the posterior scalp and match better the length of the anterior flap. (8) The galea periosteal rim flap allows anchoring of the frontal flap to the undersurface of the posterior scalp flap. This stabilizes the closure with minimal tension on the hair-bearing portion of the scalp. The wide surface of contact avoids depression and widening at the suture line. (9) Closure with skin staples avoids constriction of the hair follicles. (10) Hemostasis is done with a bipolar cautery. (11) No through-and-through key sutures are used.
Some of these principles were introduced to the endoscopic subperiosteal forehead lift. The modifications mentioned above have been used in 92 open brow/face lift procedures with excellent aesthetic and functional results and minimal complications. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 95: 993, 1995.)
©1995American Society of Plastic Surgeons