Is Occipital Knob Skull Reduction Safe?
Q: Dr. Eppley, I am scheduled this summer for a procedure for the removal of an occipital knob on the back side of my skull. Before fully committing to the procedure, I wanted to ask a few questions pertaining to concerns that I have about the operation.
From our consultation and the case studies that you published online, I understand that this is a fairly low-risk procedure. Are there any potential serious implications that could arise from this surgery? I am also concerned about the size of the scar for this operation. I plan on fully shaving my head after the surgery; in your estimation, will the scar be detectable from a few feet away? I understand that the scar size can be variable, but will it appear to be a hairline incision and will it be any wider than two inches? I attached photos of the occipital knob to this message if they may be helpful in gauging the potential size of the scar.
Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
A: In answer to your occipital knob skull reduction questions:
1) The occipital knob is a very thick protrusion of bone which means reducing it entirely still leaves a lot of bone for protection. While I could not imagine it not being very thick bone, the way to absolutely determine if it is indeed as thick as I think it is is to get a 2D CT scan and make measurements.
2) The scalp scar is in the range of 5 cms length and it does heal very well. It is placed in a horizontal skin crease if one exists which in your case would be at the bottom of the knob. I can not say whether it will heal so well that it would be undetectable from a few feet away. But I have yet to have a male patient comment on that they found the scar unacceptable.
Dr. Barry Eppley