Forehead Flap Reconstructive Surgery

America’s most trusted authority on nasal reconstruction, Dr. Steven Mobley, is redefining forehead flap surgery for the twenty-first century. Skin cancer does not have to define you, or the way you look. Schedule your life-changing consultation today. 

What is Forehead Flap Reconstruction?


A forehead flap is a reconstructive operation for patients who have lost a significant amount of their nose to cancer. To most laypeople the operation at first may seem a bit unusual but in actuality it has been a standard operation in the field of facial plastic surgery for decades. The operation is involves reconstructing the missing parts of the nose with skin from the forehead and often cartilage taken from behind the ear. The complete reconstructive process takes 2-3 operations, called stages.

Typically in the first stage a strip of skin from the forehead is brought down to the nose. Often parts of the tip of the nose must be reconstructed by using cartilage taken from behind the ear. This does not significantly change the shape of the ear. This strip of forehead skin must then stay attached for 3 weeks (click for image). This is the length of time necessary to establish a proper blood supply for the new skin in this area. Admittedly, this can be a difficult time of being out in public for many patients.

The second stage of the operation is where we put everything back together. The connection between the forehead and the nose is divided. The skin is contoured to look like nasal skin and both the nose and forehead are stitched carefully back together.

Less commonly a third stage is needed. This is most often the case when a significant amount of the nose has been lost to cancer or if the reconstructed area needs further refinement to achieve optimal nasal contouring. If you need a 3rd stage this will be discussed in detail in your consultation.

How Long is the Recovery Period After Forehead Flap Surgery?

Forehead flap surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Some patients are kept overnight in the hospital after the first stage. While patients can look a bit “ghoulish” for the 3 weeks following the first operation, they can go back to normal activity levels rather quickly. In my patients one of the main limitations I have seen is that it can be difficult to wear eyeglasses for the 3 weeks following the first stage. Obviously, most patients choose to avoid major social engagements for the 3 weeks following the first stage.

Recovery from the second stage is much quicker. Patients can go back to light activities a few days after surgery and can usually easily be back at work within a week after the second stage.

What Are the Common Risks?

When reconstructing the human nose, symmetry is critical. Based on the reconstructive challenges your case presents, as well as your desires, some patients opt for an additional stage so a minor touch-up can be performed. This may involve thinning down skin that looks a bit thick, correcting nostril asymmetry, or other small detail work to make your nose look as normal as possible. These touch-up procedures are not a risk of surgery; rather, they are a possible, optional operation to get the reconstructed nose to look as much like your original nose as possible.

Is Forehead Flap Surgery Right for You?

After nasal skin cancer excision, certain defects may only be optimally repaired by using a technique called a forehead flap. While some people may be concerned about undergoing multiple operations to reconstruct the nose, this technique has an extremely high success rate, and Dr. Mobley’s patients are very satisfied with the outcome. During your consultation, Dr. Mobley will examine you carefully and explain all of your options. If he feels that you would benefit from a forehead flap nasal reconstruction, he will explain each stage of the operation and the recovery process, and he will answer any questions you may have about why this may be the best surgical option for you.

Trust Your Face to the Surgeon with Experience

Dr. Mobley is one of the Intermountain West’s most experienced nasal surgeons, and an expert at forehead flap surgery. Whether he is improving a nose’s cosmetic appearance, restoring normal nasal breathing, or repairing a nose after trauma or skin cancer, no other surgeon in this part of the country does as many nasal surgeries as Dr. Mobley. He is a national authority on nasal surgery and has written numerous articles and book chapters on nasal surgery. Dr. Mobley’s expertise is sought out by his colleagues, and he lecturers nationally and internationally on his nasal surgery techniques. When it comes to your face, and especially your nose, don’t just choose any surgeon. Trust your face to Dr. Mobley. Trust Experience.

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