Plastic Surgery for Forehead Osteoma Removal

Published on: September 5, 2021 (Last modified on: December 9, 2022)
Concerned young woman looking at a growth on her forehead in the mirror.

Osteomas are boney growths that usually occur on the forehead. These growths are usually benign and do not pose a risk for cancer or other health issues, but they can be uncomfortable and unattractive. Forehead osteomas can be very noticeable, and many people want to have these growths removed for cosmetic reasons. Plastic surgeons offer forehead osteoma removal surgery to remove these growths, which may be the best solution for many people who have this condition.

What Is a Forehead Osteoma?

Osteomas are a non-cancerous tumor that typically form on the skull, most notably on the forehead. The cause of these tumors is not known, and they can occur in infants, children and adults. Occasionally, forehead osteomas are associated with prior history of injury to the head. Some osteomas can exist with no symptoms and may not be large enough to see. Others can grow larger and protrude underneath the skin and become very noticeable. In some cases, forehead osteomas can cause pain and discomfort particularly when wearing a hat. Smaller osteomas are less likely to cause symptoms, but the larger varieties can be both cosmetically concerning and can cause pain. The best treatment for an osteoma that has become aesthetically displeasing or uncomfortable is surgical removal. If you want to remove an osteoma, forehead plastic surgery can be an option.

Forehead Osteoma Removal Plastic Surgery

While osteoma removal could be performed by most surgeons, plastic surgeons are usually the best option for forehead osteomas. Since the growth is on the face, most people want to avoid scars that are visible and can impact their appearance. Plastic surgeons can minimize the appearance of scars associated with surgery. There are four different types of forehead osteoma removal surgery:

Direct Osteoma Removal
The traditional option for osteoma removal is a direct incision above the osteoma, often used for small growths. Forehead incisions allow the surgeon to access the osteoma directly and utilize surgical tools to scrape or drill the growth off from the skull. The drawback of this type of osteoma removal is that there will be a scar on the forehead. A plastic surgeon can minimize the size of the incision and place it in a forehead line or wrinkle to hide the scar. Use of silicone sheets or other treatments can be used to reduce scar tissue.

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Coronal Removal
Coronal approach to forehead osteoma removal uses an incision across the top part of the scalp. This surgery option is used to hide the scar in the scalp. This surgical approach is opted used by neurosurgeons for brain surgery and by plastic surgeons to repair complicated facial fractures. This approach has some significant drawbacks. The incision is very long, patients may experience scalp numbness which can last for months or may be permanent, and there is a risk of injury to the facial nerve, which could cause multiple issues.
Anterior Hairline Incision
Another option for access the osteoma is a hairline incision. In this approach, the incision is within or just behind the hairline. The benefit of this type of incision is that it can be completely hidden within the hairline. In fact, by cutting the skin in a certain angle, hair can grow within the scar making it nearly invisible. The incision can be kept quite small to minimize any risk of numbness. The shortcoming of this approach is that for osteomas that are situated lower in the forehead (near the brow), this incision needs to be longer which can increase the risk of numbness and scar visibility.
Endoscopic Plastic Surgery
One of the more advanced options in forehead osteoma removal plastic surgery is the endoscopic method. This procedure is performed using a small incision placed behind the hairline. An endoscope is used to visualize the surgical site on a video screen. The endoscope allows visualization of osteomas in the lower forehead without the need to enlarge the incision. The surgical scar is quite acceptable as with the hairline incision. Additionally, the endoscope provides magnification.

Recovery From Forehead Osteoma Removal

Most types of osteoma removal can be performed on an outpatient basis, so patients can recover at home and can likely return to normal activities within a few days. There is likely to be bruising and swelling on the forehead and near incisions for up to two weeks. If sutures are used, they may need to be removed, but dissolvable sutures or surgical glue can be used in some cases. It is usually recommended to avoid sunlight on the surgical area for several months after the procedure.
Concerned man touching osteoma on his forehead.
If you have a forehead osteoma that is causing pain, health issues or aesthetic concerns, consider consulting a plastic surgeon about osteoma removal. Make sure to ask about the type of surgery that will be used and what risks accompany the procedure. In most cases, plastic surgery for forehead osteoma removal is very discreet – plastic surgeons use their skills to carefully hide the incisions, regardless of the type of surgery used. This procedure can be very effective for osteoma treatment with minimal recovery needed after the surgery.

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