Can My Weirdly-Shaped Skull Be Reshaped?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a severe skull shape problem that has been with me all my life. My skull is weirdly shaped like an alien. I am tired of being made fun of because of my head shape. I have seen a few doctors by they all say that nothing can be done and I should just live with it. I know you are an expert in this area so I thought I would ask you as no one else seems able to help. Attached are some pictures from different angles.

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. The shape of your skull appears to be the result of a congenital sagittal craniosynostosis condition that has been undiagnosed and untreated. This explains the very long, higher and narrow head shape that you have. Unlike the surgery done as an infant for this condition (take the bone apart, some of it completely off and put it back reshaped), that approach can not be done as an adult. The best that can be done now is to reshape the skull somewhat from manipulations on the outside. This would entail some reduction of the prominent midline ridge and some reduction contouring of the forehead. The sides would then be built up to make it wider. This type of cranioplasty requires being done through an open scalp incision for access to all of the skull areas. This would provide some definite improvement although it can never be an ideal or perfectly normal shaped skull.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana