Cost, before and after photos

A patient of cosmetic surgeon Gal Aharonov, who pioneered a technique to reduce the size of genetically larger foreheads.
Gal Aharonov

  • Insider spoke to plastic surgeon Gal Aharonov about his forehead reduction technique.
  • Aharonov makes an incision along the entire hairline, lifting the scalp and stitching it closer to the face.
  • The surgeon said costs start at around $15,000 and patients travel from all over the world to see him.

A few months ago, cosmetic surgeon Gal Aharonov received a new patient: a woman in her early 30s desperate for a procedure that would reduce the size of her forehead.

Aharonov, a dual-certified facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon with a practice in Beverly Hills, pioneered cosmetic surgery that brings the hairline to the forehead. The complicated operation, in which the entire scalp is lifted from the head, aims to reduce the size of the genetically large forehead.

Within two weeks of the woman’s forehead lowering surgery, her husband told Aharonov that she had gone from being an introvert who rarely went out to someone who was constantly meeting up with friends and family and “doing things that she still does.” has never done before”.

“He says, ‘You have no idea how different my wife has been since the surgery,'” Aharonov said in an interview with Insider. “‘You changed her life.'”

To shed more light on his novel approach, Aharonov took insiders on how he performs forehead reduction surgery, what the biggest risks are, and who is a good candidate.

A plastic surgeon has developed a new way to make a person’s forehead smaller.

Candidates for forehead reduction surgery are people who were born with a larger forehead than they would like, not people with a receding hairline.

Although there are treatments for both male and female pattern baldness, Aharonov said there aren’t many ways to put hair in places on the head where hair never grew, and he said he wasn’t taught how in school man hair lowers the hairline. “There haven’t really been a lot of people who have done anything about this problem,” he said.

An alternative technique is to place a balloon under the scalp and inflate it over a period of 2 to 3 months, causing the scalp tissue to expand. The surgeons go back a second time, remove the balloon, and then sew the newly stretched scalp further down the forehead.

Aharonov said the balloon technique has “many problems” like stretching and separating the hair follicles, giving the appearance of thinning hair. The technique is also more time-consuming for patients, requiring two surgeries and sometimes multiple follow-up visits for doctors to assess how the scalp is stretching.

The approach of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Gal Aharonov, reducing the size of the forehead consists in raising the entire scalp and sliding forward.
dr Gal Aharonov

Aharonov began exploring other options, and in 2008 he said he had pioneered a new technique that involves one surgery, not two. The operation works as follows:

    1. An incision is made just outside the hairline.
    2. The entire scalp is lifted away from the skull.
    3. The scalp is then “slid” into the desired hairline location, which is determined by the patient and doctor prior to the procedure.
    4. The hairline is then connected to the skin of the forehead with stitches, and excess skin is cut off.

“What you end up with is a normal scalp and normal hair density, right now in a lower position,” he said. The largest reduction Aharonov has made was 2.5 inches, but most patients are reduced by about 1 to 1.5 inches.

The cost of the procedure can vary but typically starts at $15,000, Aharonov said, including consultation, operating room and anesthesia fees.

Patients are left with a large scar at the hairline.

The greatest risk of surgery is “shock hair loss,” where the stress of the procedure causes hair loss for several months. Aharonov also said he had to repeat botched forehead reduction surgeries performed by other doctors trying to copy his technique.

The biggest trade-off for forehead reduction surgery, Aharonov said, is the long scar that forms down the length of the hairline, just below where the hair grows. Still, Aharonov said most patients would rather deal with the scar, which can be masked once the hairline grows out, than a larger forehead.

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The process is anything but a quick fix. Aharonov said it takes about six months for patients to heal and a year for the scar to heal and the hairline to appear naturally.

The best candidates for the surgery are people with thick, coarse hair, which is better at hiding the scar, and with good “scalp mobility,” or skin suppleness, which Aharonov assesses during a visit to the office. He said his patients maintain normal forehead mobility, but the scalp will feel tight for several months after the procedure.

Many of Aharonov’s patients have struggled with insecurity since childhood, so they travel far and wide to see him.

Although Aharonov pioneered this particular scalp descent operation, The doctor said he had no personal connection to anyone with a larger than average forehead and was unaware that it was an insecurity for so many people.

But after 15 years of performing hairline lowering surgeries, Aharonov said, the issue has become more personal. He said that many patients come to him very confident and have been bullied for their appearance since childhood.

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Aharonov said most of his patients are not from Southern California but travel from across the country and from parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Aharonov’s patients are typically under the age of 30, although he has had patients in their 70s come in for surgery.

“It’s not like other plastic surgery surgeries where you take someone and maybe just make them more beautiful,” he said. “This is different because you’re taking on a ingrained insecurity that a lot of people have had since childhood. It’s very satisfying compared to, say, just a facelift.”

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