Occipital Augmentation

Q: Dr. Eppley, As for back of the head surgery (occipital augmentation) I have a few questions? 

1) how much in cm or mm can I expect the head to become rounder using implants? 

2) if the implants get infected how dangerous is it? Can it be prevented or treated?

3) Very important question – So the back of my head is flat but it is not level. The right hand side it is about 1 cm bigger than the left so basically I have Plagiocephaly and brachephly. (I think) Can a good result still be achieved and how? Are you able to shave some bone off the skull to get it to the same level and then insert the implant?

A: Thank you for your inquiry. In answer to your questions about occipital augmentation by an occipital implant:

1) Usually 12 to 15mm is the maximum implant thickness that most scalps will accommodate.

2) I have never seen an occipital augmentation infection. But the implant can be easily removed if needed.

3) With skull asymmetry the implant would only be placed on some side to have the two sides match. In these cases, the best way to make the implant would be from a 3D CT scan to get the best match between the two sides.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana