There are several clues that may have caused you or your doctor to suspect that your child has craniosynostosis. A misshapen head is usually the first clue. The anterior fontanelle, or soft spot, may or may not be open. The suspected diagnosis is confirmed by x-rays. A CT scan is also done to make sure there are no underlying abnormalities in the brain.
Treatment is aimed at restoring the normal shape and relationship of the forehead and orbital rims. While the deformity may vary from very mild to severe, the psychological effect of a noticeably misshapen forehead and face can cause great problems. Early surgery is indicated as a rapid expansion of brain occurs by 2 years. Correction should be done timely to allow the brain to grow normally. The child must also be evaluated for any signs of increased intracranial pressure due to restricted skull growth.
The type and timing of surgery varies with the child and diagnosis. However, there are some common elements.
The surgeons make an incision or opening in the skull behind the hairline so that afterward the scar is covered by the hair. The head is not shaved. The bone in the area of the defect is reshaped or replaced with bone from another area of the skull. The surgery is usually very successful, and most children go on to lead normal lives with no residual effects of their craniosynostosis.
Craniofacial Surgery is done to correct these deformities by opening up the stenosed sutures and to realign the scalp bones to increase the cavity of the vault to enable the growing brain to expand normally. This is a very highly specialised surgery. It is also done to correct the deformities after accidents or improve facial structure.