Plastic Surgery
Dr. Barry Eppley

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Double Board-Certified Plastic
Surgeon Dr. Barry Eppley

Clinic Snapshots – Posterior Zygomatic Arch Osteotomy Incision


Cheekbone reduction surgery requires an understanding of the complete bony anatomy of the zygomatic bone. When most people think of the cheekbone ti is perceived as one solid block of bone just underneath the eye. While this area is a major part of the cheekbone, it overlooks the posterior extension of the cheekbone known as the zygomatic arch.

The zygomatic arch connects the main body of the cheekbone (zygoma) to the temporal bone above the ear. It is a thin bridge of bone between these two areas because underneath it passes the large temporalis muscle on its ways to attach to the lower jaw. The zygomatic arch is almost always bowed outward or has a convex shape. This gives width to the side of the midface.

In cheekbone reduction it is rarely a matter of shaving down the bone. Rather the cheekbone is cut and moved inward, this is what make the side of the face more narrow. The bone cuts are done in the front through the main body of the zygoma from an intraoral incision. Conversely the back cut is done where the zygomatic arch meets the temporal bone through an external incision.

Posterior Zygomatic ASrch Incision Healing Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisThe external incision for the zygomatic arch osteotomy is done through the sideburn hair. It is usually about 1 cm in length and is placed at the junction of the sideburn hair and skin just in front of the ear. Because it is an external incision patients understandably are concerned about how it heals an whether it heals in an inconspicuous manner. Here is a picture of a patient with a posterior zygomatic arch osteotomy incision that was done just over one year ago.

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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