3D Skull Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in the custom implants for the back of my head and both sides of my head which are flat. A few questions about 3D skull implants I have are:

1.What kind of materials are used for the 3d skull implant?
2.What type of screws are used (metal or plastic), and do they effect x-rays?
3.Assuming no infection, can these implants be rejected later in life like 20 years down the road?
4.How long does the procedure usually take(best case and worst case).
5.Is this reversible?
6.Can they be felt from outside the skin, meaning the corners of the implant.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. In answer to your 3D skull implant questions:

1) They are made of a Solid silicone material
2) Titanium microscrews are used to maintain early implant stability. They will not affect getting MRI studies later.
3) Infection of any skull implant can happen early after surgery (although I have yet to see it) but not delayed rejection.
4) The surgery time for the procedure is around two hours.
5) It is a completely reversible procedure. A silicone skull implant can easily be removed later if desired.
6) The edges of most 3D skull implants are usually not seen or easily felt.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana