Temporal Reduction Surgery Questions

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have some temporal reduction surgery questions. 

1. Before operation:

    1. Do we do any scans beforehand to know what can be removed (and what is bone/muscle)?

    2. Is it necessary to drill bone? What are the risks of bone drilling?

    3. If bone drilling is not necessary, will we be able to know beforehand what kind of results can be achieved without it?

2. During operation:

    1. Is it conducted under general anesthesia? 

    2. I understand you pass through the ear crease behind. Is it possible that you may need to make an incision elsewhere during the operation that may end up being visible?

    3. How is muscle removed?

    4. How long does the operation take?

3. After op:

    1. How long is there pain for? How long is there swelling for?

    2. Is there a risk that the muscle can grow back bigger?

    3. After how much time are results permanently visible?

In general, what are the risks of complications? I understand it is an uncommon procedure and you’re the only doctor that does it. Beyond the complications you’ve had so far with this procedure (if any), are there any other “possible” complications that could arise that I should know of? 

Thanks and best,

A: In answer to your temporal reduction surgery questions:

1) I usually do not get scans as there are not helpful.

2) The posterior temporal reduction is most cases is a complete muscle removal and does not touch the bone.

3) The muscle reduction always produces a 5mm to 9mm reduction in the width of the side of the head.

4) The procedure is done under general anesthesia.

5) The operation takes 90 minutes to perform and is done from an incision in the posterior ear crease.

6) Most patients have minimal pain afterwards.

7) Some swelling may appear in the face several days after surgery which resolves by 7 to 10 days after surgery.

8) The muscle can not grow back.

9) The results are usually visible immediately although the swelling will temporarily efface the results a day or two after surgery for a few weeks.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana