Can The Sides Of My Skull Be Reduced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have some questions about skull reshaping. I have a decent head shape, it’s just that when I cut my hair really short or shave off all of my hair my head shape looks distorted. I’ve been realizing lately that the two sides of my head tend to be larger than the rest of my face and my skull is too large above my ears. It makes me have a very awkward face structure almost like a balloon and was wondering if you had any ways to reduce the size.  It isn’t a big reducement, just maybe 1/4 of an inch to make it symmetrical. But would there be any scars left after surgery that would be permanent? Thank you.

A: In a normal shaped head, the sides in the front view stay well within a vertical line that extends upward from the helical attachment of the ears. Any bowing out from this line can make it look disproportionate. The temporo-occipital region of the skull (sides of the head) are composed of a thick layer of temporalis muscle as well as bone. It can be reduced about a 1/4 inch per side. Skull reduction in this area is a combination of muscle and bone reduction. It is done through a small vertical incision on each side so there would be a small residual fine line vertical scar on each side.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana