Skull Reconstruction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve gotten a skull reconstruction cranioplasty done while on active duty following a stroke/craniectomy and I have 1) a concave dent on my left temple, 2) a bulging muscle underneath the dent (surgeon said the muscle couldn’t be reattached to the titanium plate, and 3) have an irregular protruding spot where the plate ends in my forehead, almost like it’s not fully connected to the bone, or the plate itself isn’t the right fit. Can plastic surgery fix this? Will it be a major operation, or dangerous? If so, do you think the benefits of the status quo outweigh the risks? Thanks

A: I would need to know two important pieces of information about your prior skull reconstruction surgery, 1) what type of cranioplasty was done and 2) a current 3D CT scan of your skull to fully know the anatomy of your skull and what the cranioplasty looks like and the area that it covers. That being said, most likely the corrective approach is going to be a bone cement only cranioplasty to recontour the area. I would not view this as a risky or dangerous procedure. Since you undoubtably already have a scalp scar the biggest aesthetic risk of such surgery is irrelevant.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana