Can An Implant Fix A Temporal Depression After A Craniotomy?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have read a recent blog post of yours about an implant for the treatment of temporal hollowing with great interest. I have a depression on my left temple as a result of a craniotomy performed to clip an unruptured brain aneurysm. I would like to know more about this implant including the manufacturer, case studies of its use, and any before and after photos if available. Many thanks for your help.

A: The new temporal implant to which you refer is manufactured by Osteosymbionics in Cleveland Ohio. While it is not the first temporal implant ever designed, it is unique due to its shape and flexible design. You would have to contact the company for their clinical experience to date. I have not yet used this implant although I have used about every conceivable material  for temporal augmentation and reconstruction. The material of this implant is a soft and flexible elastomer, which is what composes the vast majority of facial implants used.

For temporal defects from craniotomies, the size and extent of the depression must be carefully assessed and the implant matched to it. Some defects are due to mild to  moderate atrophy of the temporalis muscle. This will appear as a more central indentation most prominent above the zygomatic arch and to the side of the forehead. An implant like this new temporal one may work well for this type of depression. Other temporal defects are bigger and are due to atrophy and a retraction of the attachments of the posterior and superior skull attachments. This creates a larger temporal depression and a bigger implant or other form of temporal reconstruction must be used.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana