Temporal Artery Ligation

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in temporal artery ligation. My right temporal artery is considerably larger than the  one on my left.  Although both are unsightly and bothersome.  I have become very self conscious of them. And the are affecting my daily life.  At normal rest they are slightly visible.  They become increasingly larger and more noticeable when I exercise, when its warm, and when I consume alcohol.  And not much alcohol either ! Just a few sips of beer or wine. They even enlarge when I’m talking a lot.

A: Your description of prominent temporal arteries is classic. Prominent temporal arteries can be successfully reduced, and some times completely eliminated, by temporal artery ligation. The secret is to locate the pattern of flow into the visible artery and do ligations both anterograde and retrograde.  This is a bit of an art form and, while every temporal artery ligation procedure shows immediate improvement, the real test of the effectiveness of the procedure is what it is like 3 to 6 months afterward.

Temporal artery ligation is a procedure done under local anesthesia in an office setting. Each small access incision for ligation is about 5 to 7mms in length. There is no bruising afterwards with minimal swelling.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana