How Is Occipital Bone Reduction Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 33 year old male and am interested in skull reshaping of the back of my head. (occipital bone reduction) My occipital bone has always been really noticeable. Now I am quite bald it’s even more noticeable now. I often get remarks about it, people tend to touch the back of head to feel it, and I’ve heard people talking about it behind my back. Is it possible to reduce it? I’ve seen a similar case on your webpage.

A: The occipital bone prominence can definitely be reduced. It is only a question of how much and that would be based on the bilaminar thickness of the occipital bone.This is best determined by a simple lateral skull x-ray which will show its entire thickness and the thickness of the outer cortical table of the bone. A tracing of the occipital profile can be done on the x-rays to show what the realistic outcome would be from the procedure in the profile view.

The horizontal prominence of the occipital bone is a very common skull reshaping surgery in my experience. It involves making a small horizontal incision on the back of the head from which the occipital bone is burred down as much as possible. It is usually not possible to over reduce or due too much of an occipital bone reduction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana