Does An Injectable Skull Augmentation Method Exist?
Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in injectable skull augmentation. I heard there is a different technique to fixing a flat head with an injection and without the need of scarring. Is this true?
A: The simple answer is that there is really no effective method of injectable skull augmentation that really works. Injectable synthetic fillers and even fat can be injected but they are not permanent, can not add significant volume and can not make a smooth contour or shape. Injected fat has received some notoriety recently as a forehead augmentation technique but the tissues in the scalp are very dense and do not provide a good injection plane to get the same volumetric changes that can be achieved in other places like the face, breasts or buttocks.
They are injectable methods (really minimal incision) of cranioplasty where the scalp tissues are lifted and the pocket above the bone made for the augmentation material. Then through a small incision, a bone cement material can be injected through a tube in the pocket over the skull bone deficiency and molded into shape from the outside. While this allows a cranioplasty to be done in an essentially scarless manner, this technique is plagued by the potential for irregularities and palpable edges. I have used this injectable cranioplasty method numerous times and I still consider it a technique in evolution. Its use at this time should be reserved for select skull deficiencies and a motivated patient who is willing to accept the aesthetic risks associated with it.
Dr. Barry Eppley