Do You Shave Hair For An Occipital Cranioplasty?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a few questions regarding occipital cranioplasty. the back of my head is kind of flat and it’s been bothering me since high school. As I get older I notice that it gradually get flatter, to a point where I don’t tie up my hair anymore because I am so self conscious about it. Now that I am 36 years old and am financially capable of fixing this problem, I am contemplating on getting the surgery done.

Below are my questions:

1. If I decide to have the occipital cranioplasty done, will I have to shave all my hair off for the surgery? 

2. Since I will have extra material at the back of my head will it affect the growth of my hair or the health of my scalp?

3. What are the possible side effects of the surgery?

4. Do you have patients who already had the surgery done for solely aesthetic purposes? And are the cases with these patients successful?

5. Where is the best place to have the surgery done? ( country/state/doctor)

Your advise will be much appreciated.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. In answer to your questions

1) No hair is ever shaved to perform an occipital cranioplasty.

2) Any placement of material on the skull bone does not affect the growth of the hair or the health of the overlying scalp tissues.

3) While infection is always a concern when any material is placed in the body, that is not a problem I have yet seen in cranioplasty. The most common side effects for any form of cranioplasty are aesthetic is the material smooth, even and symmetric? Was the buildup enough?

4) Most skull augmentations that I perform today are done exclusively for aesthetic purposes. The most common type of aesthetic cranioplasty that I perform is to treat a flat back of the head.

5) I can not speak for who else in the world performs aesthetic cranioplasties, I only know that I do.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana