Custom Skull Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I remain very interested in having skull augmentation and reduction of a bump done in the next year. I am wondering whether you could help alleviate a concern I have regarding the custom skull implant option. I have donea lot of my own research as sort of a hobby and came across some information regarding a potential risk/association between silicone breast implants and cancer (which was determined to possibly be a result of chronic inflammation). 

Is this a risk with a custom skull implant or is the skull less susceptible if at all to such inflammation due to the fact that it’s bone? Also, would drilling screws at various places help reduce any chafing? You mentioned the implant and burring can occur at the same location/incision but figured additional tiny incisions for drilling the implant in place would also make sense. 

A: There is no biologic response correlation between silicone gel breast implants and solid silicone skull implants. (or any other solid silicone implant) These are different forms of silicone. That issue aside, there has never been any proven association between breast implants and cancer. You may be confusing that with another unproven association between autoimmune diseases and older silicone breast implants. This has been conclusively shown to have no such effects and was the basis for the FDA releasing silicone breast implants for clinical use again back in 2006.

There is no chronic inflammatory reaction with a custom skull implant made of solid silicone and thus your issue about ‘chafing’ is not relevant as no such tissue reaction occurs.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana