Custom Occipital Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a custom skull implant.I have a flat back of the head, that I hide every day as much as I can with my hair (no hair loss). I am interested in the skull reshaping procedures using custom implants described in the page: I am particularly interested by the computer designed flexible implants, and the example photographies of a skull with/without implant in the middle of the section ‘custom skull implant’ matches quite closely my situation. I believe that an additional 50cm3 volume would be largely sufficient to get the desire ’rounding’ effect, after testing with plasticine, however I do not know if this volume would fit under my scalp. 

I have listed below my questions (I have a lot, but I am considering very seriously this surgery), I hope you can answer them either by mail or a scheduled interview, as you see fit (however I’m more comfortable writing english than speaking it): 

1) what is the volume range of the implants that can be inserted? 

2) what is the material used to 3d-print the implant? How long is it supposed to last? 

3) what would be the size and position of the scar necessary to insert the implant? 

4) can you give me the necessary details of the 3D imagery you need, so that I can already schedule the skull scanner in a nearby laboratory? 

5) what would be the cost of such an intervention? 

6) If the implant has to be removed, even a few years later. Iis the removal a simple process? Can the screws be removed? 

Thank you for your time.

A: In answer to your questions about a custom occipital implant:

  1. I do think of skull implants in terms of volume. Rather I think about their maximal thickness and how the scalp can stretch to accomodate it. In general, a custom occipital implant of 10 to 12 mms thickness can be tolerated by most patients regardless of the surface area that it covers.
  2. The implants are made of solid silicone and will last forever.
  3. The implant is inserted through a low horizontal scalp incision on the back of the head.
  4. A high resolution (.1mm thocknes slices) skull 3D CT scan is needed.
  5. My assistant will pass along the cost of the surgery to you tomorrow.
  6. The implant can be easily removed later. I no longer use screws for implant fixation as they are not needed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana