The ‘death’ of the facelift

NEW stats released this month by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) suggested a major new trend in aesthetic procedures – more and more women are opting for surgery on their body, instead of their face and head. Some media outlets even announced the ‘death’ of the facelift, with a 44 per cent decline in some procedures. But the situation isn’t quite as simple as that. Because where facelifts might be tailing off, it’s my view that there’s another huge surgical ‘lift’ trend already waiting in the wings to take over.

And if the explosion in interest I’ve seen at my clinic is repeated elsewhere, it could represent one of the most popular procedures we’ve seen in recent years.

I’m talking about ‘hairline lowering’, or ‘foreheadplasty – a specialist area fast gaining momentum here in the UK. The surgery itself is designed to lower the hairline, reduce the height of the forehead and to correct the normal temple recession to give a more rounded hairline. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and costs around £6,500.

I’m talking about ‘hairline lowering’, or ‘foreheadplasty – a specialist area fast gaining momentum here in the UK. The surgery itself is designed to lower the hairline, reduce the height of the forehead and to correct the normal temple recession to give a more rounded hairline. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and costs around £6,500.

It’s most suitable where patients feel that the size or height of their forehead isn’t in proportion with the rest of their facial features. Excess forehead is surgically removed and the scalp is repositioned in order to give a new, more natural hairline. The incisions in the scalp are also made in such a way that hair regrows through the scar itself, vastly reducing its visibility.

When I began performing hairline lowering surgery in 2013, I’d typically perform around one operation perhaps every four to six weeks. As it stands now, that has increased to the point where I’m performing around two or three foreheadplasty ops every week, on average. That represents a 1,000 per cent, tenfold increase in just five years. It’s a hugely significant jump.

And there are two very good reason why forehead lowering is generating such interest. Firstly, those who worry about the size of their forehead suffer real emotional distress. It’s not uncommon for us to hear tales of extreme bullying and name calling and, besides wearing headbands, it’s very difficult to disguise this area the body in every day life.

That’s very different to breast augmentation, for example, where the patient can very often cover-up an area of their body they’re unhappy with. And, secondly and perhaps most importantly, many who suffer forehead embarrassment issues are simply unaware that a procedure even exists which can help to correct it.

As word spreads, and as more patients undergo surgery, the momentum being generated keeps building. Having a high or excessively large forehead can cause real self-esteem issues, as it detracts from otherwise proportional facial features. The high hairline itself can be due to a variety of factors, from simple genetics to hair loss – which makes it appeal to both men and women, too.

And through surgery we can bring the hairline back down to a more natural-looking level. As for recovery, the surgical incisions heal well in around seven to 10 days and continue to fade, becoming hidden within the hairline in six to 12 months.

Christopher Inglefield

Christopher Inglefield is a a highly experienced Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon and Medical Director of London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic.
He is a member of the UK Association of Aesthetic Surgeons, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, British Burn Association, the British Microsurgical Society, the British Association of Surgical Oncology and the Royal Society of Medicine – Plastic Surgery.
Christopher Inglefield
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