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Different Types of Craniosynostosis and Treatment Options

Posted Dec 17 2012 5:10am
  Craniosynostosis is a birth defect, which occurs when the sutures on the head of the baby close earlier than normal. Normally, the sutures close when the child is two or three years old. When they close early, the baby’s head assumes an abnormal shape. The cause of Craniosynostosis is unknown. Genes may play a role in the development of this condition. Most children who have this condition are healthy with normal intelligence. Craniosynostosis surgery is performed by a plastic surgeon to correct the face and skull bone deformities. It is a reconstructive surgery which has to be performed with a lot of care.
 
Surgery is to be provided while the baby is still an infant. The main objectives of the surgery are to relieve any pressure on the brain, to ensure that there is sufficient room in the skull to allow the brain to grow properly and to improve the appearance of the child’s head.

Types of Craniosynostosis

Metopic Synostosis - It causes the forehead to take a triangular shape. It appears in children between nine and eleven months of age. Children with serious metopic synostosis can have problems in vision, learning and behavior. Children with mild metopic synostosis do not need any medical or surgical treatment. Surgery may be recommended for conditions that appear too obvious and is ideally done between nine and eleven months of age.
   
Sagittal Synostosis - Sagittal synostosis is the premature closure of the sagittal suture. The treatment has to be performed when the baby is under two months of age. In this condition the shape of the head is narrow from side to side and lengthened from front to back. The forehead appears very prominent. Surgeons provide a formal cranial vault remodeling procedure to widen the biparietal distance and shorten the frontal to posterior distance of the skull.

Unilateral coronal Synostosis - In this case the eyes, nose and forehead may also be affected. The surgery should be performed between nine and twelve months of age. The bone that creates the brow is reshaped and the forehead is remodeled to provide more symmetry and naturalness to the face.

Multiple Suture Synostosis - This type involves multiple types of sutures than just one. It is a serious condition wherein more than one of the sutures of the cranium fuse prematurely causing possible brain abnormalities. A variety of surgeries may be required such as early shunting, early fronto-orbital advancement surgery, and early monoblock advancement procedures.

Benefits of the Surgical Procedure

A child who has undergone surgery requires frequent medical evaluations to ensure that the skull, facial bones and brain are developing normally. The surgeon makes sure of the well-being of the infant and works with the child’s family to provide education and guidance to improve the health and welfare of the child. Most children who undergo surgery live a normal and healthy life after the surgery. When considering Craniosynostosis surgery for your child, you need to do a lot of research and find out a reliable and experienced plastic surgeon who can ensure the best results for your child.
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