Craniosynostosis is a condition where the spaces, or sutures, between the bones of the skull fuse and close abnormally, causing the head to develop in a flat, abnormal or odd shape. As part of Atlantic Health System Children's Health, the Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital offers both minimally invasive endoscopic surgery and traditional procedures to treat this condition.
Endoscopic Surgery for Craniosynostosis and Flat Head Syndrome
Our pediatric neurosurgeons and craniofacial surgeons will make small incisions in the child’s head and use specialized instruments to unlock the fused suture. This minimally invasive procedure shortens operation time, minimizes risks associated with blood loss and transfusion, and reduces hospital stay. In some cases, the patient may even go home the day after surgery.
Traditional Surgery for Craniosynostosis and Flat Head Syndrome
During traditional surgery, a pediatric neurosurgeon and a plastic-reconstructive surgeon will work in tandem to make an incision in the scalp, exposing a large part of the skull. Any fused sutures are removed and the skull is then re-molded into a more normal shape. Depending upon the extent of the skull reconstruction required, the patient may need to remain in the hospital for three to seven days, including a night or two in the pediatric intensive care unit, if necessary.
Following either procedure, children are closely monitored by our medical team with regularly scheduled follow-up evaluations. Patients are also required to wear a custom-made helmet that helps the head re-mold into a more symmetrical shape as it heals.
No two craniosynostosis conditions are the same, so it’s important to discuss with the medical care team whether your child is a candidate for endoscopic surgery or if traditional surgery would be more appropriate.