Can The Skull Bone Above The Temporal Muscles Be Reduced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in skull width reduction. I have attached a CT scan of my skull. I have a few questions: 

1. Based off my CT scan alone, is my skull clearly wider at the top than average? A google search tell me yes, but I’m sure with your extensive experience viewing CT skull images you can easily say whether mine jumps out as wider than average. 

2. How many millimeters of bone can be burred? 

3. I do not want to remove the temporalis muscles considering my head is widest at the top bony area and removing muscle beneath is will only make it appear even wider–especially considering muscle removal has a far more dramatic effect than bone burring, so even if both were done I imagine I would still get that effect. If only the bone above the temporals muscle were burred, would I be able to avoid a lateral scar? Additionally, would the swelling be less significant considering the muscle won’t be manipulated? 

4. Are there any side effects from such a procedure it would be helpful for me to know about? It’s not a common procedure, so I would can’t find such an answer online. 

5. How long would it take for swelling to reside? 

6. Considering volume is removed from the skull, will the soft tissue shrink back down over the bone? 

Thanks in advance.

A:In answer to your skull reshaping questions:

1) Yes it is.

2) In the 5mm range

3) An incision is needed to do the bone burring. The postoperative swelling would be less than with temporal muscle removal.

4) The scar is the only ‘side effect’. (aesthetic tradeoff)

5)  7 to 10 days for most of it to subside.

6) There will be no problems with loose scalp skin.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana