How Is Skull Reshaping Surgery Done For A Flat Back of The Head?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in skull reshaping surgery for the back of my head. I have attached some pictures. Although they are a little fuzzy I think you can see the problem. The left is much flatter than the right. Let me know if it is possible to do what I want which is to fix the head shape so that it is more round and therefore more normal in the back on both sides (more on the left than the right.) I also have a few more questions to ask. First of all, are there any long term side effects of the surgery? (not the rare ones but common ones I should know about as I know there are risks with any surgery). Secondly will I need to keep coming back for surgeries in the future (for such things as touch-ups)? Will it affect my hair growth? These are questions I was unable to find out for myself. I hope I have not been too much much of a bother. I am really excited for this as you can see and I really, really appreciate your prompt and helpful responses. Thank you for everything.

A: As skull reshaping surgery goes, your back of the head problem is the most common skull problem that I treat. Flat back of the heads are common and rarely are they perfectly symmetrical. They are corrected by an onlay cranioplasty procedure, most commonly using PMMA as the augmentation material. The surgery is done through a limited 9 to 10 cm incision (no hair is shaved) placed closer to the back of the head through the material is applied and shaped. The only short-term complication (< 6 months) that I have ever seen is aesthetic in nature, how smooth is the applied material and does it give enough of the desired augmentation. If either is observed and bothersome, a touch up procedure may be done to smooth it out or add more material if possible. I have not seen any long-term complications. If one has a satisfactory result by three months after surgery to their own assessment, then no further procedure will ever be needed. Lastly, he procedure does not affect hair growth.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana