Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been bullied for a number of years over the shape of my skull and I am looking to do something about it as it’s ruining my life. The width is an abnormal shape and above the ears it sticks out quite a bit. I have read some of the questions on the website and seen Doctor Eppley’s answers which seem like it would be something that can assist me. Am I right in saying Doctor Eppley is the only person in the world who performs skull reduction surgery? I have spoken briefly with someone over email where I live but I am not sure the procedure they suggested is what I am looking for. I need to find the right procedure as I feel it is a necessity to have it done to be able to enjoy my life at all. I’m so depressed about it and I’m really searching for someone to help me before I get myself in to a bigger hole with the depression.
I have attached a picture. Are you able to say whether I can be helped or not please?
How long would I need to be in hospital for and when could I travel back home?
I’m worried about the strength of my skull after the surgery, I will be able to live a normal life afterwards won’t I, like play football etc??
I really appreciate your help and you taking the time to read this I understand you are very busy. Another question is that my ears are quite pointy/large and if I was to undertake this surgery I’m worried they will stick out even more, can anything be done with them so this doesn’t happen and they look a bit more normal?
I’m so sorry for so many questions. Whereabouts on my head would the incisions be? Would they be behind the ears and would they be quite deep scars?
I had thought about hair transplants at some point in the future because my hair seems to be disappearing rather quickly but I do prefer the shaved look if I’m honest. Do you think this would be a major problem?
I have to admit it has put a smile on my face knowing that you can possibly help. From the picture do you think the 5mm-7mm you mention in your questions section on the website will be enough to make my head look more normal in terms of shape?
Thank you so much for getting back to me.
A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. From what I can see in this one picture (which is the most helpful view), there is temporal skull/muscle protrusion as well as ears that stick out a bit. This could be improved by a combination temporal muscle/bone reduction cranioplasty combined with a setback otoplasty.
This is a procedure that is done as an outpatient and one could return home in 48 hours. There would be no worries about the strength of your skull and you would not have any restrictions after surgery.
The most relevant issue is that an incision is needed on both sides to do the surgery and this is always a concern when it is a male who shaves his head or a has a close cropped hairstyle. We just have to be careful to not ‘trade-off one problem for another’.
To be certain we are looking at the same thing, I have done some before and after imaging to see if the changes that are possible is in line with what your objectives are. This is probably what a 5 to 7mm reduction can achieve.
The incisions would be vertical in the hairline just behind the ears and extending upward about 6 to 7 cms. They are not deep or indented scars but rather just fine lines.
Dr. Barry Eppley