- Insider spoke with plastic surgeon Gal Aharonov about his technique for reducing the size of a forehead.
- Aharonov makes an incision over the entire hairline, lifts the scalp and pricks it closer to the face.
- The surgeon said costs start at around $15,000 and patients travel from all over the world to see him.
A few months ago, plastic surgeon Gal Aharonov received a new patient: a woman in her thirties, desperate for an operation that would reduce the size of her forehead.
Aharonov, a dual-board board-certified facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon with a practice in Beverly Hills, pioneered cosmetic surgery that moves the hairline down the forehead. The complicated surgery, which involves lifting the entire scalp from the head, aims to reduce the size of genetically large foreheads.
Within two weeks of the woman’s brow-lowering operation, her husband told Aharonov that she had gone from an introvert who rarely dated to someone who was constantly meeting friends and family and doing “things she had never done before”.
“He’s like, ‘You have no idea how different my wife is since the operation,'” Aharonov said in an interview with Insider. “‘You changed his life.'”
To shed some light on his new approach, Aharonov told Insider how he performs brow reduction surgery, what the main risks are, and who makes a good candidate.
A plastic surgeon has pioneered a new way to reduce the size of someone’s forehead.
Candidates for forehead reduction surgery are people born with larger foreheads than they would like, not people with thinning hair.
While there are treatments for both male and female pattern baldness, Aharonov said there aren’t many ways to put hair in places on your head that never grew hair in the first place. and he said he didn’t learn in school how to lower the hairline. “There weren’t really a lot of people dealing with this issue,” he said.
An alternative technique is to place a balloon under the scalp and inflate it for 2-3 months, which expands the scalp tissue. The surgeons go back up in a second step, remove the balloon, then stitch the newly stretched scalp back down on the forehead.
Aharonov said the balloon technique has “a lot of problems,” such as stretching and separating hair follicles, giving the appearance of thinning hair. The technique is also more time-consuming for patients, as it requires two surgeries and sometimes multiple follow-ups for doctors to assess scalp stretch.
Aharonov began researching other options, and in 2008 he said he pioneered a new technique that involves one surgery, not two. The surgery works as follows:
- An incision is made just outside the hairline.
- The entire scalp is lifted from the skull.
- The scalp is then “slid” to the desired location of the hairline, which is decided before the procedure by the patient and the doctor.
- Stitches are then used to connect the hairline to the forehead skin, the excess skin is cut away.
“What you get is a normal scalp and normal hair density, just now in a lower position,” he said. The largest reduction Aharonov performed was 2.5 inches, but most patients achieve a reduction of around 1 to 1.5 inches.
The cost of the procedure can vary, but typically starts at $15,000, Aharonov said, which includes consultation, operating room and anesthesia costs.
Patients are left with a large scar at the hairline.
The biggest risk of surgery is “shock hair loss”, where the stress of the procedure causes hair loss for several months. Aharonov also said he had to redo botched forehead reduction operations, performed by other doctors trying to copy his technique.
The biggest tradeoff for brow reduction surgery, Aharonov said, is the long scar that forms along the length of the hairline, just below where the hair grows. Still, Aharonov said most patients would rather treat the scar, which can be masked once the hairline grows in, than a larger forehead.
The procedure is far from a magic bullet. Aharonov said it takes about six months for patients to heal, and a year for the scar to settle and the hairline to appear natural.
The best candidates for surgery are people who have thick, thick hair, which can hide the scar better, and with good “scalp mobility,” or skin suppleness, which Aharonov assesses during a visit. in office. He said his patients maintained normal forehead mobility, but the scalp would feel tight for a few months after the procedure.
Many of Aharonov’s patients have faced insecurity since they were children, so they travel far and wide to see him.
Although Aharonov pioneered this scalp lowering surgery, the doctor said he had no personal connection to someone with a larger than average forehead and was unaware that it was an insecurity for so many people.
But, after 15 years of surgeries to lower the hairline, Aharonov said the problem had become more personal. He said many patients came to him deeply self-aware and had been bullied for their appearance since they were children.
Aharonov said most of his patients aren’t local to Southern California, but rather travel from across the country and parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and America. Australia. Aharonov’s patients are usually under 30, although he has had patients in their 60s who come for surgery.
“It’s not like other surgeries in plastic surgery, where you take someone and maybe make them prettier,” he said. “It’s different because you take on a deep-rooted insecurity that a lot of people have had since they were little. It’s very rewarding compared to, say, just a facelift.”
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