Posterior Temporal Muscle Removal (Partial Temporal Myectomy)

Q: Dr. Eppley, i have arranged a surgery with you for bilateral posterior temporalis muscle removal later this year. I have asked you before if will have any problems with chewing or jaw movement after the surgery, your answer was no. When I am chewing food though, with my back teeth(mostly), I am feeling the movement of the muscles above my ear. Isn’t that the muscle we are going to remove? Or are those movements of muscle under the scalp bone? Did anyone of your patients of the same surgery report anything related to jaw movement or chewing problems?

Thanks so much for your time.

A: As I have stated previously there has not been a single case of postoperative jaw dysfunction or pain with posterior temporal muscle removal for head narrowing puroposes. This would be expected given that it is the posterior temporal muscle that is removed which makes a very minor contribution to jaw function. The reason it is hard for you to wrap your mind around the concept that removal of this portion of the temporal muscle causes no dysfunction is two-fold; 1) your anatomic understanding of the function of this muscle is understandably limited and 2) you have never performed this procedure and then followed patients afterward to see their outcomes. 

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana