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Dr. Neavin Speaks on Eyebrow Transplantation at ASPS in San Diego

Last week marked the 88th annual plastic surgery meeting for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It was held in San Diego, California, and drew a significant number of plastic surgeons, aesthetic nurses, and physician assistants from 73 countries around the world poised to learn or share their expertise the field. 

Dr. Neavin, who had presented last year both at the ASPS and the ISAPS (International Society of Plastic Surgeons) in Chicago and Miami, respectively, was invited to speak at the national meeting this year in San Diego and due to its enthusiastic reception from the prior talks. 

Addressing a full capacity crowd at the San Diego Convention Center, Dr. Neavin delivered a highly visual presentation.  From the function of eyebrows, the history of brow trends, and the process by which Dr. Neavin creates beautiful eyebrows with hair transplantation, the comprehensive course was well received from the standing-room-only lecture hall.

One of the major points of the talk was to invite plastic surgeons to rethink eyebrow shape in the aged man or woman.  While traditional paradigms in plastic surgery offer the solution of lifting tissues as they descend from the aging process, Dr. Neavin welcomed the audience to reconsider this approach.  Studies presented during the course argued against lifting brows to restore youth, since evidence has shown us time and time again that for the most part, brows don’t actually descend with aging as seen with other parts of the human body (breasts, face, nose, buttock). 

Dr. Neavin described that in fact, for most women and men as they age, the eyebrow paradoxically rises.  And that this counterintuitive fact is best understood when one considers that muscles are at play with the brow; muscles are not at play with the other areas of the body that descend with age and gravity:  “The muscle that is responsible for elevating the brows with emotions like surprise, are often in action to keep heavy eyelids from sagging in older men and women.  The result of this dynamic state are brows that lose their youthful shape and position.

It was stressed that beautiful, young brows often sit lower on the face than in older men and women.  And that a simple glance at the cover of Vogue or a fashion billboard will support this notion.  “In fact,” Dr. Neavin said, “It is often surprising to recognize how low the medial or inner brow rests in youth.  The arguably most recognizable eyebrows in the fashion world, those that are owned by Cara Delevingne, are positioned exceptionally low – yet the knee jerk reaction historically has been for plastic surgeons to lift brows to make them look more attractive. This thinking is wrong!”

“The beauty of the eyebrow,” Dr. Neavin suggested, “is in its shape and fullness – not its position on the forehead. We must reconsider how we as plastic surgeons address this part of the body.  We must thicken and reshape, not lift!”

Eyebrow transplantation refers to the use of moving follicles from the back of the scalp to the eyebrow to add hair density and modify shape.  Up to 400 follicles are implanted per brow, with the average brow receiving 220-250. Eyebrow transplantation can create permanent and natural looking results.  For more on eyebrow transplantation, click here.

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