Endoscopy is a surgical technique that involves the use of an endoscope, a special viewing instrument that allows a surgeon to see images of the body’s internal structures through very small incisions.
Of all the cosmetic procedures that use endoscopy, the forehead lift is the one which plastic surgeons more commonly perform. Instead of the usual ear-to-ear incision, three or more “puncture-type” incisions are made just at the hairline. The endoscope helps guide the surgeon, who removes the muscles that produce frown lines and repositions the eyebrows at a higher level.
All surgery carries risks and every incision leaves a scar. However, with endoscopic surgery, your scars are likely to be hidden and much smaller and some of the after-effects of surgery may be minimized. In a typical endoscopic procedure, only a few small incisions, each less than one inch long, are needed to insert the endoscope probe and other instruments. The tiny “eye” of the endoscope’s camera allows a surgeon to view the surgical site almost clearly as if the skin were opened from a long incision. Because the incisions are shorter with endoscopy, the risk of sensory loss from nerve damage is decreased. Also, bleeding, bruising, and swelling may be significantly reduced with the endoscopic.
Endoscopic surgery may also allow you to avoid an overnight hospital stay. Many endoscopic procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your doctor. In endoscopic surgery, a probe with a tiny camera transmits images inside the body to a video monitor.
It is important to remember that the endoscopic approach has only recently been applied to plastic surgery procedures. There are some known risks, which vary in severity depending on the procedure being performed. These include infection, fluid accumulation beneath the skin (which must be drained), blood vessel damage, nerve damage or loss of feeling, internal perforation injury, and skin injury. Patients who tend to be the best candidates for cosmetic endoscopic procedures are those who don’t have large amounts of loose hanging skin.