Skull Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had skull reduction done twice now by two different doctors and  both times the result which was promised didn’t come. Do you know why this could happen? Is it possible to form bone after such a procedure? After what Ive understood it is only the scalp that swells and in the early stages post-op I could feel that the scalp was soft, so I could push it down a couple of mms.

 But after a while when the swelling was supposed to be gone, my head didn’t look any different at all! Prior to the second surgery I had a CT and it showed I had some mms of bone in the outer layer, which then again was removed, but as well this time I could tell no difference. 

I know this for sure sounds impossible, I could see the mms removed the second time after the surgery, and I had a drain and dressing placed, which was removed after two days. Is there any way possible to avoid the swelling after the procedure at all? Have you encountered such after any skull reduction procedures? What really stumbles me is that some places actually has become smaller, while some is as big as it was. So there has become sort of “plateaus”, where some areas are much higher than the surrounding area. I just don’t understand this at all

A: These are questions for the doctors who performed the procedures since they know what they actually did. If you really want to know how much bone has been removed and where it was done at, get a 3D CT scan of your skull which will show those changes.

While there are limits as to how skull bone can be removed, an unsatisfactory aesthetic results comes from only two potential issues: 1) the patient did not have a realistic expectation of what the operation could achieve (expected more than what could be safely done), or 2) the surgeon performed a subpar skull reduction procedure.

While I can appreciate your concerns, I did not do your surgery, don’t know what you look like and never had any pre surgical discussions with you. Your questions should be addressed by those surgeons who you entrusted to do the surgery. That is their responsibility and your obligation to follow up with them.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana