Surgical Options for Craniosynostosis

To treat craniosynostosis, we often recommend surgery. The age of your child, the presence of other medical conditions, and surgeon preference are factors that will determine which surgical treatment is the best route.

Traditional Surgery (“Calvarial Vault Remodeling”)

Among the surgical options available, the more traditional surgery we offer is when the baby is older. During surgery, an incision is made in the infant’s scalp. The shape of the head is corrected by moving the area that is abnormally fused or prematurely fused and then reshaping the skull so it can take more of a round contour. Surgery can last up to eight hours. The baby will likely spend a few nights in the ICU plus an additional 3-5 days in the hospital for monitoring.

Although the child’s deformity is seen early on, this surgery is ideal for babies beyond 6 months of age, because of expected blood loss. Blood transfusion is usually necessary during surgery.
After surgery, there may be temporary facial swelling. Unlike other surgical options, there are no additional steps post-surgery unless a recurrence of craniosynostosis is found. You can expect follow up appointments after surgery.

Life-long considerations for a child with craniosynostosis:

The key to treating craniosynostosis is early detection and treatment. Some forms of craniosynostosis can affect the brain and development of a child. The degree of the problems is dependent on the severity of the craniosynostosis, the number of sutures that are fused, and the presence of brain or other organ system problems that could affect the child.

Genetic counseling may be recommended to evaluate the parents of the child for any hereditary disorders that may tend to run in families.

A child with craniosynostosis requires frequent medical evaluations to ensure that the skull, facial bones, and brain are developing normally. Our medical team works with the child's family to provide education and guidance to improve the health and well being of your child.