Is Skull Reduction Surgery Safe?

 Q: Dr. Eppley, I am curious about my options regarding skull reduction surgery. I believe I have a pretty normal skull shape but I’d like to smooth down the bump on the lower back of my head, I believe it to be the occipital although I’m not certain. From where the top of the back of my neck transitions to the skull it seams like a bit more exaggerated of a curve than normal. I was curious if it would be an option to smooth it down, if allowably possible. Let me know if you have any questions or what you would initially require in order to assess. I would be willing to take an X-ray or CT scan if necessary. Thanks.

A: The prominence of the occipital bone can be burred down, usually about 7mms across its entirety based on its inherent thickness. The question is not whether it can be done but whether enough can be safely removed to make a difference. That can be simply answered by a plain lateral skull x-ray which will show how much skull reduction can be obtained by the removal of most of the outer cortex. It is not advised to go past the outer cortex of the trilaminar skull layers.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana