What Are The Risks and Followups of Custom Occipital Skull Implant Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a custom occipital skull implant. My questions are:

Who will perform the procedure?
What could go wrong?
What is the chance of having to repeat the procedure?
Are the sutures self absorbing? How long does it take to heal?
Can one place ones head on a pillow where the sutures are?
Can one bathe and comb hair?
What are the chances of infection?
Do I need to come back for a follow up?
Would there be any facial swelling?
How soon can I return to my work/daily activities?
Is it safe for radiography?
Is it visible in an x-ray?

A:In answer to your custom occipital skull implant questions:

1) I perform the procedure exclusively.

2) When you say going wrong what you mean is what are the known risks and complications of the procedure which in skull implants is always infection, asymmetry, visible edging and size. (too big or too small)

3) All skin sutures used are resorbable which takes 2 to 3 weeks to go completely away.

4) There are no restrictions are head positioning after the surgery.

5) One can shower the next after surgery and shoer and wash their hair 48 hours after surgery.

6) I have never yet seen a custom skull implant infection.

7) All followups are done in a virtual manner.

8) Some patients may experience facial swelling in the temples and eye area which resolves in 7 to 10 days after the surgery.

9) There are no physical activity restrictions after the surgery. You do what feels comfortable.

10) All skull implants are safe for any form of postoperative imaging.

11) Custom skull implants are invisible in a plain x-ray, seen as a radiopaque layer in 2D and MRI scans and will be seen as an actual implant in 3D CT scans.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana