Objective To analyze and compare the postoperative adherence qualities between the subperiosteal layer approach and the subgaleal layer approach for brow elevation using a rabbit model.
Methods Twelve New Zealand white rabbits (weight, 3.1-3.5 kg) were evenly divided into 2 groups and underwent forehead flap elevation via subperiosteal or subgaleal dissection, depending on the group assignment. Two rabbits were not operated on and served as controls. Histologic and biomechanical testing (tensiometer) was performed at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks to assess adherence and wound strength.
Results The subgaleal flap strength was greater than that of the subperiosteal flap at each time point. The mean flap strength for the subgaleal and subperiosteal control subjects were 208 g and 706 g, respectively. These values approximately correspond with the postelevation subgaleal flap strength regained at 2 weeks and the postelevation subperiosteal flap strength regained at 8 weeks. On histologic analysis, the subgaleal specimen showed less intervening space and a greater degree of connective tissue proliferation than the subperiosteal specimen at as early as 4 weeks.
Conclusion This study supports our hypothesis that rapid healing and early fixation occurs when the subgaleal approach is used for surgical brow elevation.