Temporalis Muscle Reduction for Wide Head

Q: Dr. Eppley, Thank you very much for the effort that you have put in to illustrate the estimated outcome of the temporal reduction procedure in my son. I have had a conversation with a surgeon, and he said that narrowing the skull is not possible because it compresses the brain, and I really do hope that this is not the case and that a potential surgery like this does not risk the health of my adult boy in the future.

A: The imaging results I have shown you are based primarily on temporalis muscle reduction with some external bone removal. This is an extracranial operation not an intracranial one. So whatever surgeon suggested to you that it can not one done due to brain compression is misinformed. Most people, including doctors, do not understand that the temporalis muscle makes up a significant amount of head width above the ears with a lesser contribution from the thickness of the bone. It is both a safe and effective procedure that poses no long-term issues for brain or skull growth if done in younger patients like a teenage boy. It also poses no functional issues such as difficult with lower jaw function.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana