Skull Reshaping and Back-of-Head Augmentation

Are you the right candidate for Skull Reshaping?

IMPORTANT: To make the best use of your time and ours, please read the following points BEFORE you call our office:

  • It is not uncommon for the cost of skull reshaping surgery to cost within the range of approximately $20-$25k, although costs may vary dramatically based upon what is required.
  • Your surgery may involve a custom implant, and/or necessitate the need for a neurosurgeon to be involved; both of which will be at an often substantially significant additional cost.
  • Manufacture of custom implants will often cost $5-8k, depending on the size of the implant.
  • It is absolutely necessary to have a CAT scan (an out-of-pocket expense with most insurance companies for aesthetic surgery) prior to or as part of your evaluation. This is not optional and is also a significant expense.
  • You may have visible scars on your head depending on the scope of surgery and/or style of your haircut. If you wear your hair either shaved or very short the scars will likely be visible.
  • We DO NOT undertake skull reshaping surgery based on how your hat fits.
  • NOTE: Although it is possible to make your head larger or smaller, this is not safe for cosmetic surgery. This is only undertaken jointly with a neurosurgeon for those who have cephalocranial disproportion

If, after reading all of the above, you wish to move forward, you need to be available for an in-person consultation at our San Francisco clinic with Dr. Deschamps-Braly. We do not accept telephone or Skype consultations.

What is skull reshaping or skull contouring?

Skull reshaping (also known as skull contouring or back-of-head augmentation), is a surgical procedure that is typically used to reshape the skull to give it a more uniform, oblong shape. The procedure is ideal for individuals who are unhappy with the shape of their skull, or who have congenital skull abnormalities.

What types of issues does skull reshaping fix?

Skull reshaping addresses a number of skull shape irregularities, such as flattened skulls, bumps and ridges, sloped heads, and skulls that appear too wide or too narrow. Prior to the procedure, you will undergo a full consultation with your surgeon to determine your specific needs and clarify expectations. For information on skull reshaping for infants or children, please refer to our craniosynostosis page.

How is skull reshaping performed?

Skull reshaping is performed under general anesthesia. Contrary to popular belief, the patient will not need to shave their hair and no hair needs to be removed during the procedure. Placement and length of the incision will vary depending on the particulars of the head shape. If the reshaping is intended to flatten out bumps, ridges, or high spots, the bone will be smoothed out using a rotary or burring tool. If the skull needs to be “filled” or rounded out, a synthetic biomaterial such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) is used. These materials are biologically compatible and will bond with your own bone. A custom-made implant may sometimes be necessary depending on your desired head shape.

What is the healing process and timeframe?

As with all procedures, the patient must consider the healing process. The initial healing period, depending on the specific procedure is generally a week to 10 days. After the first 48 hours, the patient may shower and wash their hair normally. We will clean and bandage your scalp immediately following the procedure. There is typically no bruising with this surgery, although you may experience some mild discomfort for the first few days. Swelling is to be expected and will partially resolve after a week to 10 days, and fully within approximately 4 weeks. Complete surgical results will be visible 2-3 months post-surgery.

Can skull reshaping be performed on children and teens?

Skull reshaping may be performed on children and teens. However, whether your child or teenager is an ideal candidate for this procedure will depend on the type of congenital skull shape abnormality present.

Read more about Skull Reshaping for Children and Teens here. 

Can a previous skull reshaping procedure be corrected or revised?

If you have previously had a skull reshaping procedure and you were unsatisfied with the results you may also consider a corrective procedure. In fact, revision or correction of skull reshaping is actually quite common — about 15% of all our skull reshaping procedures are revision surgeries wherein we are asked to correct a previous surgeon’s work.

Read more about Skull Shaping Revision surgery here. 

More information about Skull Reshaping: