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What to Consider before Getting Craniosynostosis Surgery

Posted Dec 18 2012 3:08am
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which one or more of the sutures on the infant’s skull close prematurely, before the brain of the infant is fully developed. In normal cases, the sutures on the head of the baby close when the child is two or three years old. If your kid has Craniosynostosis, then his or her brain cannot grow normally and the head too is of a different shape. To correct the deformities of the skull bone and the face, the plastic surgeon performs Craniosynostosis surgery. This surgery will allow the brain sufficient space to grow and develop.
 
Before you schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon, prepare a list of questions which can help you make the most of your time together.
 
Diagnosis of Craniosynostosis
 
For diagnosing this condition your doctor will have to perform certain tests, the first one is a physical exam, second is imaging studies and then genetic testing. In the physical exam, your doctor will feel your baby’s head for abnormalities such as suture ridges, and he will also look for facial deformities. In imaging studies X-rays and CT scan are taken of your baby’s skull. This will show if any sutures have been fused. If your doctor suspects that the deformed shape of your baby’s skull is because of a hereditary syndrome, then genetic testing will help to identify that particular syndrome. Genetic tests will require a blood sample. Based on the type of abnormality which the doctor suspects, he may take a sample of your baby’s hair, skin or other tissues such as cells from the inside of the cheek. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. Based on the findings, treatment is recommended. Your surgeon knows which treatment is best for your baby.
 
Questions That You Need to Ask before Craniosynostosis Surgery
 
There are many questions that parents can ask the plastic surgeon before Craniosynostosis reconstructive surgery is provided for their child. 
  • What are the symptoms of this condition?
  • What are the causes?
  • What kind of tests will my baby have to take? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • Is this a temporary condition? Or is it long lasting?
  • What treatments are available? Which one do you recommend? Which one is the best?
  • Are there any risks that we should be aware of while the surgery is being performed?
  • Who will perform the surgery?
  • Are there alternatives to surgery?
  • What are the consequences if we do not want to have the surgery right now?
  • Is it possible that the abnormal shape can affect the normal functioning of my baby’s brain?
  • Can you give me some brochures or other printed material which I can take with me to study?
  • Which websites do you recommend where I can get complete information about this condition?
Your plastic surgeon will answer all these questions and clear any doubts you may have regarding the Craniosynostosis surgery. This will enable you to have a clear idea regarding the procedure, and take care of your child in a better manner.
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