Skull Widening

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a skull widening procedure.I have a narrow skull/ head and was wondering if its possible to widen the sides of skull and forehead with Alloderm instead of implants? Im not comfortable with implants and was hoping instead that Alloderm could be used for such large areas. And if alloderm can be used for skull/head widening, does screws need to be used? Thank you.

A: While Alloderm can be placed on the sides of the skull for augmentation, there are several problems with its use for that application. Beyond the sheer cost of Alloderm (the material alone would probably costs $15,000 to $18,000 for a skull widening procedure that is at least 5 to 7mms thick) the material has a low propensity for persistence and a relatively high incidence of infection when stacked in layers which it would have to be for any skull augmentation procedure. I don’t think the use of Alloderm is a viable option for a skull augmentation material. If you are looking for a more ‘natural’ skull augmentation material, injected fat would be the most viable option as long as one is not looking for any major volumetric change.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana