Silicone Skull Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I just had some concerns regarding the silicone skull implants. The first concern I have read about are possible issues with erosion of the skull over time by the implant.The second is something about water collection within the implant over time.What are some adverse side effects that may be possible due to the use of silicone skull implants? 

A: In answer to your silicone skull implant questions:

1) Bone erosion is not an issue with skull implants. I have never seen it nor is the general concept of bone erosion around any craniofacial implant accurate. Such a phenomenon, outside of an infected implant, does not really exist. There can be passive setting of the implant into the bone by a millimeter to two common in high tension situations like chin implants, but that is a passive and self-limiting natural biologic process.The broad surface area of a skull implant does not even allow that to occur.

2) I have never heard of ‘water collection’ around any craniofacial implant. There can be small serous fluid collections right after surgery but they are limited and self-absorbing and are common in any surgical implant site.

3) I have never seen any adverse effects with any skull implant material. The issues are always the same regardless of the material…how well did the shape of the implant achieve the desired aesthetic effects.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana