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Forehead lipoma excision: a comparative study of open versus endoscopic technique



Endoscopic excision of forehead lipoma is increasingly utilized for its inconspicuous scarring, good intraoperative visualization and low complication rates. Currently, studies comparing outcomes from endoscopic and open excision of forehead lipomas are lacking. This retrospective study compares the surgical outcomes of the two techniques.


The authors retrospectively reviewed medical records of all patients who had undergone forehead lipoma excision at a single institution between 2010 and 2015. Data collected included patient demographics, lesion size, mean operative time and postoperative complications. A comparison was made between the two groups of patients.


Sixty-two patients underwent excision of their forehead lipoma (38 endoscopic and 24 open excisions). Patient groups were similar in terms of sex ratios, size of lesion, choice of anaesthesia, mean operative time and duration of follow-up. Swelling beyond 1 week in the endoscopic group was 1/38 (2.6 %) compared to 4/24 (16.7 %) in the open excision group (p = 0.07). Postoperative scalp numbness in the endoscopic group was 2/38 (5.2 %) versus 2/24 (8.3 %) in the open excision group (p = 0.64). Incidence of haematoma in the endoscopic group was 1/38 (2.6 %) compared to 2/24 (4.2 %) in the open excision group (p = 1). All 38 patients in the endoscopic group were satisfied with their scars compared with 4/24 (16.7 %) in the open excision group who reported dissatisfaction (p = 0.02).


Complication rates of both surgical techniques are similar. Given that the endoscopic technique results in cosmetically superior outcomes, with no increase in morbidity, the authors recommend the use of endoscopic technique for forehead lipoma excision.

Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hui Wen Ng.

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Ethical standards

All aspects of this study have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and comply with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Protocols have been submitted and approval obtained from National Healthcare Group (NHG) Domain Specific Review Board (DSRB) (DSRB ref. no.: 2015/00445).

Conflict of interest

Hui Wen Ng, Yew Meng Samuel Ho, Siyun Michelle and Thien Chong Marcus declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Patient consent

All patients provided written consent before their inclusion in this study. Additional consent was obtained for the use of their images.



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Ng, H.W., Ho, Y.M.S., Ho, S.M. et al. Forehead lipoma excision: a comparative study of open versus endoscopic technique. Eur J Plast Surg 39, 415–420 (2016).

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  • Endoscopic
  • Open
  • Forehead
  • Lipoma
  • Complications