Custom Skull Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have questions about a custom skull implant My son wants to be a few cm taller. He said doing skull augmentation will let his total height longer by measurement by a few cm. He is about 5 ft 5 inches tall. Is it safe to do skull augmentation? Is the material used safe? Can the material or implant be removed if complications arise later? Will it affect hair growth after the implant or filler inserted? Please explain the steps and procedures a bit.  Also the risks, if any. Please suggest and reply as I don’t know what to do. Thank you.

A: I do not see that a custom skull implant is an approach to be used for ‘heightening’. It is ideally used to correct a flat top of the head.  It is a perfectly safe procedure which is done using a custom silicone skull implant made to fit the patient from their own 3D CT scan. As single stage procedure the most height that could be obtained would be 12 to 15mm due too the limits of how much the scalp can stretch. As a two stage procedure with first stage scalp expansion, the amount of skull augmentation could be close to 25mms. Placing an implant on the bone will not affect hair growth.  The implant is relatively easily inserted and removed secondarily if necessary. In my vast experience with this type of aesthetic skull surgery, I have not experienced any major problems. But the key is to stay within the limits of what the overlying scalp can accommodate.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana