Can Bone Be Removed in Temporal Reduction and Would It Be Just As Effective as Muscle Removal?

Q: Dr. Eppley, We had a consultation in the past and I’ve still been thinking some things over. Would it be possible to have a slight temporal reduction through just bone-burring and not removing the actual posterior muscle? I can feel the bone slightly pointing out within a 1inch strip or so around the sides and was wondering if just that area could be shaved down. Could it be possible that a CAT scan would reveal that portion thicker than the rest of the side of my head? 

How many mm of bone could safely be reduced on each side and would it be possible without removing the actual muscle? I really don’t like the idea of removing muscle.

Thank you,

A: Everyone thinks that what they are feeling is bone on the side of the head because it feels so hard. But the reality is that is muscle one is feeling with a backing behind it of bone. The posterior temporal muscle is tremendously thick. 

While you can remove some temporal bone, it requires a direct incision on the side of the head to do it and can only remove 2 to 3mms of temporal bone. The temporal bone is thinnest part of the skull. I would not be convinced that any bone removal will make that much of a difference. But I would need to have clear visual understanding of where the area on the side of your head is to provide a more qualified answer.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana