Open Brow Lift Causes More Initial Skin Numbness

Numbness from endoscopic technique is initially less but little difference after 18 months

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The open brow lift (OBL) generally results in more early forehead and scalp numbness than the endoscopic brow lift (EBL), but the end result seems to be about the same after 18 months, and nearly all patients say they would undergo the procedure again despite this side effect, according to research published online Nov. 15 in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

Jason M. Guillot, M.D., of the Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Birmingham, Ala., and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 21 patients undergoing OBL and EBL to compare objective and subjective loss of forehead and scalp sensation at various time points post-brow lift. An additional retrospective analysis of 58 patients followed-up at six months or more postoperatively was also done.

The researchers found that the OBL group had significantly greater objective (mechanoceptive and thermoceptive) loss of sensation from one to two weeks to 12 to 14 weeks after surgery, and greater subjective sensory loss from four to six weeks to 12 to 14 weeks. These differences between groups were no longer present at 24 to 26 weeks after surgery. Group differences were also seen in the patients enrolled retrospectively, with the OBL group having greater sensory loss than the EBL group at six to 18 months, but these differences disappeared at beyond 18 months.

"We observed that one to two weeks after OBL or EBL, all individuals will experience significant subjective and objective numbness of both their forehead and scalp," the authors write. "Even so, the scalps of those undergoing OBL are objectively more insensate than of those undergoing EBL. Despite this objective difference, those undergoing OBL did not necessarily feel more forehead or scalp numbness than those in the EBL group."

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