Plastic Surgery
Dr. Barry Eppley

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Double Board-Certified Plastic
Surgeon Dr. Barry Eppley

Case Study – Transcoronal Temporal Reduction


Background: The width of the head is controlled by the thickness of tissues above the ears. This consists of skin, fat, muscle and bone. Of these four tissue elements, it is surprising for most people to know that the muscle layer is the thickest of all of them. The posterior belly of the temporal muscle is a lot thicker than is usually appreciated often being 7mm to 9mms in thickness.

The temporal or head width reduction procedure that I have developed uses the removal of full thickness muscle to achieve its effect. While most patients and surgeons want to grind down the bone, it is this soft tissue reduction that has the greatest effect. Removing this portion of the temporalis muscle sees like it would create functional problems with lower jaw opening, but it does not. This is because the bulk of the temporalis muscle is located in the anterior belly and there are other muscle (pterygoid and masseter muscles) that play a role in jaw motion as well.

Temporal reduction is usually done through limited incisions that are hidden as much as possible. This is because most patients that have heads that are perceived as being too wide or convex are men who have close cropped hairstyles or shave their heads. Small temporal or postauricular incisions are usually used. In rare cases where a coronal scalp scar already exists or other procedures are being done that necessitate such a long scalp incision will it be done with such open exposure.

Case Study: This young middle-aged male had a prior history of brow bone reduction and an existing full length coronal scalp scar. He was bothered by the width at the sides of his head and its protruding convex shape.

Posterior Temporal Muscle Resection and Parietal Skull reduction intraop bnefore and after Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisBecause he already had a full coronal scalp incision, a full open approach was done for wide open access to the posteror temporal areas above his ears. The full thickness of the muscle and the overlying fascia were removed.

Temporal Muscle Reduction result front view Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisHis after surgery results show a reduction in the width of the sides of his head with less convexity. He had no jaw motion restriction or pain even right after the surgery.


  1. A wide side of the head can be reduced by temporal muscle reduction.
  2. The most significant temporal reduction of muscle can be done through an open scalp incision
  3.  Complete temporal muscle removal usually results in significant head width narrowing.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

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