Do I Need A 3D CT Scan For Forehead Augmentation or Temporal Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering having a cranioplasty and/or temporal shell implant. I recently had a cranial CT done, and was wondering if you would be able to recreate that into a 3D CT scan in order to make the temporal shell implant, or at least to get a better idea of which areas are deficient in the cranium in order to better place the PMMA cement. Could you please let me know the costs associated with translating the CT scan into a 3D format, and if this would help you even with a PMMA cranioplasty without temporal shell implant?

A: Unless the original CT was taken in high resolution cuts (1mm or less), you can not get it converted into 3D CT images.

When it comes to what you are calling a temporal shell implant, I need to know exactly the temporal area to which you refer in terms of augmenting. There is skin only area between the temporal hairline and the eye which is where preformed temporal shell implants are used to augment. I am going to assume this is the temporal area to which you refer. A regular or 3D CT scan is not helpful in addressing the volume needs of this area since this is a muscular augmentation area and not bone. A CT scan, particularly a 3D one, only shows bone.

The only reason to get a 3D CT scan for the forehead is if one is getting a custom temporal implant made. If one is using PMMA bone cement, the scan is not really helpful as this is artistically applied and shaped during surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana