Head Width Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have some questions regarding head width reduction. I’m reading on your webpage that this is achieved by removing a part of the temporal muscle. Is it just a part of it kind of like cutting half of it or is it this half the exterior part of it like slicing the exterior part of the muscle? Do you also do some bone reduction or not ? Because i think mine could be more bone than muscle. Is there any downtime for this type of surgery ? How risky is it? I would like to have done to reduce the width of my head but I’m worried about possible complications or permanent damage because of having this surger. Will you have like diminished power on your bite after the surgery permanently or something like?

A: The most effective method of head width reduction above the ears in my experience is removal of the posterior temporal muscle. It is far more effective than bone removal because the muscle makes up a significant part (50%) of the width of the side of the head at the ear level. The entire posterior temporal muscle is removed which, surprisingly, causes no after surgery weakness in chewing or biting down. (because the anterior portion of the temporalis muscle which is left alone makes up about 75% of the total temporal muscle volume. The surgery is usually done from an incision behind the ear so it is ‘scarless’. If one wants to remove bone as well the incision would have to be changed to in the hairline at the side of the head. The only real risk with this surgery is in how effective it may be. Although in my experience it produces an immediate and noticeable difference in each patient in whom I have performed the procedure.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana