Craniosynostosis is a condition that affects a baby’s skull and is usually treated by a pediatric neurosurgeon. Healthy baby skulls are comprised of many large bones. The space where those bones touch is referred to as sutures. Sutures are flexible and allow a baby’s head to grow with age. However, when one of these sutures does not form properly, craniosynostosis occurs. Fortunately, there are treatment options available.
When it comes to craniosynostosis, there are a few symptoms to look out for. For starters, parents should keep an eye out for a soft spot on their child’s head. If there is no soft spot, it may be a sign of the condition. Another sign of craniosynostosis is when the head does not grow at the same pace as the child’s body.
Craniosynostosis treatment options
Treatment for craniosynostosis is necessary to prevent severe deformities and pressure on a baby’s brain. In most cases, a pediatric neurosurgeon performs either minimally invasive or invasive surgery. A plastic surgeon may also assist in the surgery. The first treatment option, minimally invasive surgery, is also referred to as endoscopic surgery. To be successful, this option requires early diagnosis and is usually only performed within the first three or four months after birth.
The procedure for a minimally invasive surgery usually involves removing a suture that did not form properly, along with strips of bone through two incisions. In the months following the surgery, a baby will have to wear a special helmet designed to mold the baby’s skull into a proper shape. Then there is the invasive surgical option. This is the more common of the two options and is often done between six and 12 months of age. In an invasive surgical procedure, a pediatric neurosurgeon arranges the skull bones to create a normal size and shape. Recovery time takes longer.
Both surgical options have good long-term outcomes. Additionally, both can give a baby a normal head size and shape which, as a result, will give them a normal life. Without undergoing a craniosynostosis procedure, a child’s life may be more difficult and even painful. The deformity may continue to worsen over time and could result in developmental and mental delays. Therefore, it is important to reach out to a pediatric neurosurgeon at the first sign of the condition.
Contact a pediatric neurosurgeon today
If you have a child with craniosynostosis, you know how scary the condition can be. You do not have to worry long, because there are effective treatment options available to help give your child a good outlook for a normal life. A pediatric neurosurgeon will restructure your child’s skull with a helmet or existing skull bone. That happens in both a minimally invasive and invasive procedure. The result will be a normal-sized and shaped skull. If you are thinking about having your child undergo the procedure, contact a pediatric neurosurgeon today.
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