E.g., 08/2017
E.g., 08/2017

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Craniosynostosis: Premature Suture Closure


As the parents of a new child with craniosynostosis, the diagnosis can be scary. The experts at Texas Children’s Hospital are here to help you better prepare yourself for caring for your child with craniosynostosis and put your fears and concerns at ease. Texas Children’s Hospital provides a multidisciplinary team of specialists to help you understand your child’s condition and determine the optimal course of treatment for your child with craniosynostosis.

Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which there is premature closure of one or many sutures of the skull. Your child’s skull is made up of several bony plates. Between these plates, there are small gaps called sutures that allow for the rapid brain growth that occurs early in your child’s life.

When craniosynostosis occurs, your son or daughter's brain cannot grow as it would naturally and expands in the direction of least resistance. This often results in an abnormal head shape and may cause increase pressure on the brain.

For some patients, craniosynostosis can be associated either with an underlying brain abnormality or with a genetic syndrome. The team of specialists here at Texas Children’s Hospital are very familiar with this condition and can help determine whether this is an isolated condition or something associated with a genetic syndrome. It is important to be evaluated early so that this determination can be made and appropriate treatment can be performed.

The treatment for craniosynostosis generally requires surgical intervention to help separate the fused bones and allow for normal head growth, development and shape. The type of surgery is dependent on which of the many sutures are fused and the resulting head shape. The craniofacial team, led by the Division of Plastic Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, is experienced in caring for and treating all types of craniosynostosis and providing the appropriate surgical management for each child.

The goals of surgery for craniosynostosis are to allow for normal expansion of the brain, relieve the pressure caused by the early suture closure, and restore or improve your child’s appearance and head shape.

As the misshapen skull, slow or absent head growth, and increased pressure within the skull may not be present at birth, it is important to discuss these findings with our team should you start noticing these signs or symptoms. We can help answer any questions you may have and provide the proper evaluation and counseling.

It is important to note that not all abnormal head shapes are a result of craniosynostosis. A flattened area of your baby’s head may be due to the positioning of your child that results in molding of child’s head shape. If this is the case, surgery is not required to treat the abnormal head shape.

If you have any questions or would like more information on craniosynostosis, please feel free to comment below.