Head Width Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 28 year old Asian male interested in head width reduction. I have received a consultation in the past, where I was told the surgery I needed would be very dangerous and expensive potentially even lethal. Is your procedure different? I believe my face is otherwise fine except I have a very wide head above my ears. I have a smaller chin so my head appears unbalanced. Would I benefit from surgery? I noticed you also use Botox to good effect. Could I try the Botox first to see how it looks and then go with the surgery if the result is good? Looking forward to your advice.

A: The statements that you have been told about posterior temporal reduction (head width reductio  above the ears) are completely untrue. There were obviously made by surgeons who have no experience in this type of surgery nor understand the anatomy of the area. The majority of the width of the size of the head is made up of muscle not bone. The posterior temporal muscle width is as much as 9mm in thickness. When this is reduced through a very straightforward and effective procedure with no side effects and very minimal recovery, the change in the width at the side of the head can be dramatically different. If you do the math, up to almost a 2cm width reduction in head width can be achieved. This is particularly true in Asians males where the thickness of the temporal muscle is quite significant. There are no adverse functional effects on jaw opening by removing this portion of the muscle.

While you can certainly do Botox first, it will not create the same head width reduction effect as this type of surgery. But there is never any harm in doing so.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana