Do I Have Realistic Expectations About Changing The Shape Of My Skull?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to know if it is possible to reshape the back of head, specifically to build it up somewhat. I have attached pictures of what I want it to look like and want to know if this possible. The back of my head is too flat and looks weird and has always bothered me since I was a child. I live in Saudi Arabia and have seen 3 craniomaxillofacial surgeons in Europe, all of whom have told me they can't perceive what I take to be a problem and have suggested I suffer from body dysmorphia. It's been a frustrating experience. I will be visiting family in the US at the end of next year. If you tell me augmentation is possible, I would be very pleased to arrange a phone consultation with you and see you next year for surgery. 

A: Your pictures show a very reasonable outcome from an occipital cranioplasty procedure. In  my experience this is the most common area for a cosmetic cranioplasty augmentation. What you seek is neither unreasonable or unrealistic. What you have to understand is that this type of cosmetic skull reshaping is ‘new’, not the techniquies to do it but the concept that it is done for a cosmetic head shape concern. Thus you will find unfamiliarity, and perhaps even unacceptance, amongst most surgeons for this type of procedure. This implies that it is neither unsafe or not able to be done, just an unfamiliarity and lack of understanding that people can be bothered by the shape of their head just as much as they may be about the shape of their nose or their breasts. I suspect one day we will look back on cosmetic skull reshaping very much like people looked at the concept of breast implant augmentation in 1965.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana