Comparison of Subperiosteal vs Subgaleal Elevation Techniques Used in Forehead Lifts | Brow, Face, Forehead Lift | JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery | JAMA Network
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Original Article
November 1998

Comparison of Subperiosteal vs Subgaleal Elevation Techniques Used in Forehead Lifts

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Nassif, Kokoska, and Thomas), the Department of Community Health (Dr Homan), and the Department of Anatomy (Dr Cooper), St Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo. Dr Nassif is now in private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(11):1209-1215. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.11.1209
Abstract

Objectives  To compare eyebrow and forehead elevation and tension among the following 3 surgical techniques: subperiosteal dissection to the supraorbital rim, subperiosteal dissection with release (elevation, incision, and spread) of periosteum at the supraorbital rim, and subgaleal dissection to the supraorbital rim, and to determine the optimal method of elevation in an aesthetically accepted range for the endoscopic forehead lift.

Design  A randomized, self-controlled study using an open approach to the forehead in cadaver heads. Each half of head was compared with the other in the following 2 study groups: subperiosteal dissection without release vs subperiosteal dissection with release of periosteum (group 1) and subperiosteal dissection with release of periosteum vs subgaleal dissection.

Setting  Anatomy laboratory at a university medical center.

Subjects  Eight cadaver heads fixed with ethylene glycol in each group.

Intervention  Predissection distances in millimeters from fixed anatomic landmarks were measured. The forehead flaps were elevated using a coronal incision and divided with a midline incision for side-to-side comparison. Cadaver heads and side of surgical intervention were selected randomly. The flap tensions associated with incremental flap advancement of 0.5 and 1.0 cm were measured. Traction of 2.2 kg was then applied to each flap, and distances between the fixed landmarks were measured.

Main Outcome Measures  Mean predissection and postdissection distance of brow and forehead elevation for each dissection type and mean distance and median tension of brow and forehead elevation within each group.

Results  The mean postdissection brow measurements at rest were significantly greater than the mean predissection measurements at most landmarks in all dissections for both groups (P<.05). The mean postdissection brow and forehead measurements with 2.2 kg of traction were significantly greater than the mean predissection measurements at all landmarks in all dissections for both groups (P<.05). The mean increase in distance from predissection to postdissection (at rest and with 2.2 kg of traction) did not significantly differ between the different dissection types (P>.05). For group 1, the median flap tension for subperiosteal dissection without release was greater than that for subperiosteal dissection with release (P>.05). For group 2, subperiosteal dissection with release had greater median flap tension than subgaleal dissection (P>.05).

Conclusions  All 3 methods of dissection significantly elevated the brow at rest for most landmarks. All 3 methods of dissection significantly elevated the brow and forehead when traction was applied to the flap. Brow and forehead elevation at rest and with 2.2 kg of traction did not significantly differ between the dissections. Subgaleal dissection was associated with less flap tension compared with the subperiosteal dissection with or without release. The data support the use of all 3 methods of forehead dissection for brow elevation and subgaleal forehead dissection as the optimal approach for the forehead lift, whether performed endoscopically or open.

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