Skull Implant for Flat Back of the Head

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a skull implant. My head is very flat at the back. I would like to know what the advantages and disadvantages of using silicone vs. bone cements are. Particularly, how long they will last. I am 37 years old and hope to be around for many more years so need to know if these implant materials will last indefinitely. Also, is there a limit to how much material can be used to expand the back of the head as I estimate that I would need at least 2cm of posterior expansion to give a good cosmetic result. Finally, what is the approximate cost of such a procedure. Thank you.

A: Thank you for your skull implant inquiry. In answer to your back of the head augmentation questions:

1) Both bone cements and silicone skull implants are solid non-biodegradable materials that will last forever.

2) Custom silicone skull implants are much better than bone cements in my experience as they offer an improved amount of augmentation that has a much more assured contour and smoothness and can be placed through a much smaller scalp incision.

3) If you are certain that you need a 2 cm occipital augmentation, the scalp can not stretch that much in a single procedure., When patients need that amount of skull augmentation anywhere on their head they will require a first stage scalp expansion.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana