Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that causes a baby’s skull to join together too soon, creating skull deformities that affect brain growth and development. Surgical intervention is the primary treatment for craniosynostosis. Chelsea Snider, MD, at Vida Bela Plastic Surgery is an experienced pediatric reconstructive surgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of craniosynostosis. To schedule a surgical consultation, contact the office in Plano, Texas, by phone or through the online booking tool.
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that affects the skull. Normally, an infant’s skull is joined together by flexible fibrous material called sutures, which allow for fast skull growth as the infant’s brain grows rapidly in the first year of life. As the child grows, the sutures begin to close and transform into bone.
With craniosynostosis, one or more of the sutures close too early, leading to skull deformities that may affect brain growth and development. The birth defect is often identified at your baby’s birth or within the first few months.
The type of craniosynostosis your child has depends on the affected suture. The types include:
The sagittal suture begins at your baby’s soft spot and runs along the top of the skull. Sagittal synostosis is the most common type of craniosynostosis, and it causes the skull to grow long and narrow.
The coronal sutures are found on the side of your baby’s skull, running from the ear to the top of the head. When one of the coronal sutures closes too early, it causes flattening of the forehead on the affected side and bulging on the other side.
The metopic suture is found at the front of the skull and runs from the nose to the top of the head. Metopic synostosis creates a triangular shaped skull that’s narrow at the forehead and wider at the back of the head.
With lambdoid synostosis, which is the suture that runs along the back of the skull on either side, your baby’s head may flatten in the back. This is the rarest type of craniosynostosis.
Deformational plagiocephaly, also called flat head syndrome, occurs when a large flat spot develops on one or both sides of a baby’s head.
It may be caused by the positioning of your baby in the womb, but may not be visible at birth. The deformity may worsen if your baby sleeps in the same position or has tight neck muscles (torticollis) that limits head movement.
Deformational plagiocephaly typically improves within the first year of a baby’s life. Dr. Snider provides up-to-date information and treatment plans for deformational plagiocephaly based on your child’s needs.
You can expect a comprehensive and compassionate consultation when you bring your child in to discuss surgical options for craniosynostosis.
After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Snider develops a personalized treatment plan for your baby that limits the use of diagnostic tests such as X-rays and CT scans, while maximizing safety, growth, development, and long-term results.
Treatment for your baby’s craniosynostosis may depend on the type and severity of the defect. If your baby’s condition is mild and of a certain type, Dr. Snider may recommend helmet therapy to help mold your child’s skull and minimize deformities.
However, in most cases, surgical intervention is recommended for true craniosynostosis. During surgery, Dr. Snider corrects the craniosynostosis to reshape the skull, relieve pressure on the brain, and allow for normal growth and development.
Children may develop craniosynostosis from many causes, including gene mutations that affect the development of the bones in the skull and face.
Other types of craniosynostosis include:
These syndromes are complex, and treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach, which may include medical specialists such as pediatric neurosurgeons and geneticists.
Dr. Snider specializes in the treatment of these types of craniosynostosis syndromes and provides the necessary referrals to help your child get the comprehensive care they need.
It is important that your craniofacial surgeon treats a large volume of craniosynostosis cases. Dr. Snider is passionate about taking care of children with craniosynostosis, providing them opportunities for less invasive surgery and increased outcomes.
To schedule a craniosynostosis consultation with a pediatric craniofacial surgical expert, contact Vida Bela Plastic Surgery by phone or book your appointment online today.