Occipital Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I have 33 years old and am interested in occipital reduction. I feel self-conscious for years due to the shape of my head. The occipital part of my head is elongated. I have seen on your website the results of skull reshaping operations. I would like to know the risks of this type of operation. I would also like to know whether the skull after the operation is weaker or at risk of suffering a fracture. Thank you for your attention.

A: Occipital reduction is a very safe surgery that is performed by burring reduction of the bony protrusion. How effective it would be is a function of the thickness of the occipital bone and the patient’s desired objective. The bone be reduced as much as the outer cortical bone thickness will allow. The bone can be reduced until the diploic space is encountered. This allows the inner cortical layer to be maintained and this does not weaker the skull bone to any degree. Occipital reduction needs to be down through a low horizontal scalp incision usually placed over the center of the occipital prominence. Its length will be anywhere from 8 to 12 cms in length.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana