Will Temporalis Muscle Reduction Affect My Ability to Chew Properly?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have further questions in regards to Temporalis reduction please. The area I want reduced is around squama temporal and the parietal area near the temporal line. In anatomical images, the temporalis muscle shows up white in that region, so is there very little muscle mass there? Will Temporalis muscle show up on CT scans? Also, would the surgery involve having to sever my temporal arteries? If so, will there be side-effects later in life? As temporal concavity is dependent on muscle mass, is that why elderly people appear to have narrower temples due to muscle degeneration? If so, will temporalis reduction increase wrinkles around that area and make me look older? I know you said it won’t affect mastication processes, but would it impede speech and pronunciation, since it involves jaw movement too? Will temporal muscle reduction make me unable to play soccer or tennis for the rest of my life?

A: To answer your further questions on temporalis muscle reduction:

1) The muscle is thinner near the anterior temporal line.

2) The muscle will show up on a CT scan.

3) The superficial temporal artery is not cut during muscle reduction.

4) The fullness of the temporal region is prinicpally controlled by muscle mass and an underlying extension of the buccal fat pad. As people age the fat resorbs and the area becomes more concave. The temporalis muscle does not really atrophy with age.

5) Temporal muscle reduction will not affect chewing or speech.

6) I see no physical restriction after such surgeries for either tennis or soccer.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana