Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in skull reshaping for my son. He is 4 years old. I went to several doctors to exam his head, only to have them tell me his head was normal. I begged for the helmet when he was a baby and they said no he doesn’t need it. I’ve always noticed these large bulges above his ears and wanted to correct it before his head was done growing.
Now we are dealing with what seems to be the needing of temporal bone reduction. These bulges, in my opinion, gives him the illusions of having a football shaped head when his hair is cut really low. It also pushes his ears forward quite a bit. I do not want him to suffer frmo being bullied as he grows and enters elementary school.
Do you perform this procedure on children? If so, can he also get the local anesthesia instead of being put to sleep?
A: I would need to see pictures of your son’s head to give a more qualified answer. But by description it sounds like your son has temporal bulging above the ears as well as protruding ears which often accompanies that type of skull shape. At four years of age the skull bone is very thin in that area and is not thick enough to allow for any skull reshaping reduction procedure. He will need to grow a lot more before that can be considered. The ears, however, are different and can be reshaped/pinned back at this early age.
No craniofacial bone procedure in a child is ever performed under local anesthesia. All such procedures require a general anesthetic.
Dr. Barry Eppley