Q: I’m a 6 year old male looking to remove a bump on my skull bone on the back of my head. I believe this skull bump resulted from a forceps delivery during my birth. I had an MRI of my head done and it came back normal. This is something that has plagued me psychologically all my life and I’m looking for any options to improve the appearance of the back of my head. I’ve provided photos of the back of my head. As you can see from the pictures, aside from the bump, there is also a ridge that leads to the more protrusive bump. I look forward to your assessment.
A: Thank you for making the effort to take the pictures. They are more than sufficient. What you have are two specific occipital bony uprisings, one ‘abnormal’ and the other a natural part of the occiptal skull bone. One is a small round bump at the top of the occiput which is a small osteoma or benign bony ‘tumor’ That can be burred down through a small vertically-oriented incision over the bump measuring about 3 cms. or just slightly bigger than an inch. Incisions in the hair-bearing scalp in men heal remarkably well and would eventually be such a fine line scar that it would be virtually undetectable. The horizontally-oriented bony ridge across the bottom of the occiptal skull bone is known as the nuchal ridge. It is where the top of the neck muscles attach to the lower edge of the occipital skull bone. It is raised and visible, as it is for some people, for unknown reasons. It may be raised because of the need for a strong bony attachment for the neck muscles. That can actually be reduced by burring down the ridge but the issue is incisional access. It requires a linear horizontal incision across the back of the head along the nuchal line, probably of a width of about 5 cms. Either skull reshaping procedure can be performed alone or in combination. Either way it is an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia that would have a minimal recovery. The incisions would be closed with tiny dissolveable sutures and one could shower and wash their hair after two days. There would be some temporary swelling which would go away in two or three weeks.
Dr. Barry Eppley