Does A Two-Stage Occipital Augmentation Require Extended Time Off Work?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am concerned about my lack of volume and height in the back of my head. In order to achieve a more normal look, I am considering the two step  occipital augmentation process with the tissue expander. Would this require me to take a month off of work? Have people been happy with the results? Is it possible instead to perform a series of smaller buildups to avoid having an expander in my head for a month?

A: When large amounts of occipital (back of the head) augmentation is desired, the limiting factor is how much the scalp will stretch to accomodate the bone buildup. This is overcome by the use of a tissue expander. By initially placing an expanding balloon, the scalp is slowly stretched to the desired amount. The same effect can not be achieved by serially building up the bone due to the scalp scar tissue that is created with the bone augmentation material. Most women have little problem with continuing to work through much of the tissue expander period because their hair masks much of the scalp expansion that is occurring. In the handful of patients with flat back of the heads that wanted a large amount of occipital augmentation, all have achieved greater volume and most were happy with the new shape of their heads.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana