FOREHEAD FLAP RECONSTRUCTION

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THE FOREHEAD FLAP
has been performed for nasal reconstruction since approximately 700 B.C. It is considered the first documented surgery performed on humans.  

This was first described in ancient India by Sushruta, considered the Indian "Father of Plastic Surgery". This flap was utilized to reconstruct nasal tip amputations, which were a common form of punishment at that time. 

THE PROCESS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

THE PROCEDURE

  • There are three layers that make up the nose: the outer skin, cartilage, and the interna skin. The more layers involved and missing, the more challenging the surgery. 

  • If cartilage is missing, cartilage from your ear, inside your nose, or your rib may be used to reshape the nose.

  • If the internal nasal skin is missing, a more complicated surgery may require three stages over 12 weeks.

  • Ultimately every reconstruction is unique and requires a customized approach to achieve the best possible outcome. 

COMPLICATIONS AND CONCERNS 

  • Major complications are very rare. In less than 0.5% of cases, the forehead flap may not survive. This occurs almost exclusively in smokers, and the risk is reduced even further if smoking is stopped 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after the final stage. Infection is also very rare, and can be treated with oral antibiotics. 

  • Before stalk division, touching the flap will feel like touching your forehead. After stalk division, it will feel numb for 1-2 years. Over time, the nerves will regenerate and the "new" skin will feel normal. 

  • Before division, wearing glasses will be difficult. You will need to use contacts or a magnifying glass. 

  • In rare cases, a small amount of hair may be transferred onto the flap. Once healed, this may be treated with topical hair remover, or laser hair removal.   

  • For more information, please see the "Forehead Flap Instruction Sheet" in the Forms section. 

FOREHEAD FLAP HEALING

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FOREHEAD SCARS AFTER 6-24 MONTHS OF HEALING
 

For many examples of how this operation is performed, please refer to the RECONSTRUCTIVE Gallery.
Select Nose, and Interpolated Flap.