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Our Neuroscience Center of Excellence
Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery

Leaders in the Treatment of Craniosynostosis

Our Center for Endoscopic and Open Craniosynostosis Surgery is nationally known for its innovative treatments for single suture as well as complex forms of craniosynostosis. Our highly-skilled surgeons are able to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat your infant with this cranial condition. Early diagnosis is best and frequently allows for more treatment options.

For most babies with craniosynostosis, surgery is the main avenue of treatment for full correction followed by helmet therapy through our cranial remodeling program with UT Health San Antonio.

Infants Benefit from Advances in Endoscopic Surgery

When possible, we perform minimally invasive procedures to lower the risk of complications and reduce surgical trauma. Best results are gained when we operate on infants at approximately three months old.

Our minimally invasive surgical techniques produce exceptional results with less risk to your baby. During surgery the closed sutures are released, allowing the rapidly growing brain to remold to the skull and the face to a normal shape over time. If there's no underlying brain abnormality, the surgery allows your baby’s brain adequate space to grow and develop.

We provide cutting-edge procedures, for example we’re the only medical facility in the region to perform an endoscopic intracranial pressure release procedure.

Sometimes an endoscopic technique is used to take first steps toward treatment and allows for a more invasive surgery a year or so down the line. Your child’s medical scenario or craniosynostosis condition is unique, and we treat each child individually with a custom created care plan to produce the best long-term outcome.

Experienced Craniofacial Surgeons

Our craniofacial team offers a variety of innovative procedures to treat single suture craniosynostosis as well as multiple suture and syndrome cases. Frequently, an early diagnosis gives doctors the option to use less invasive treatments to achieve a successful outcome. It also helps to delay or avoid more invasive corrective surgeries.

For more involved cases requiring traditional surgery, a team of highly trained neuro-specialists focus on airway protection, eye protection and treatments for decreasing pressure in the skull. These are called open procedures and are typically more complicated.

When possible, we opt for minimally invasive procedures as they tend to require shorter recovery times – typically, one to two days. In contrast, traditional open surgery often involves increased swelling and blood transfusions with longer hospitalization stays of three to five days.

If you need to make a decision about a craniosynostosis condition, our medical team can give you the answers you need to help you make the best treatment decisions for your child. The key to treating craniosynostosis is early diagnosis and treatment.

No matter what type of craniosynostosis your child has, our craniofacial surgeons are here to expertly provide the most sophisticated and delicate surgical procedures to help significantly improve the quality of life for your son or daughter.

Treatments for Craniosynostosis

Some patients require treatment for craniosynostosis in combination with other medical conditions. This video features a young girl we treated with Apert syndrome - a genetic disorder characterized by skeletal abnormalities in addition to a number of other symptoms and features.

If your baby hasn’t been diagnosed with craniosynostosis, but you’re concerned about the shape of his or her head, get an assessment as soon as possible.

The age of your child at the time of diagnosis, along with the type of craniosynostosis or combinations of craniosynostosis, plays a key role in treatment decisions. We encourage you to ask as many questions as possible so you clearly understand all the medical options available.

We Use Simulated Virtual Surgical Planning

Our team of cranial professionals use highly advanced surgical modeling to produce exceptional outcomes for even the most complex types of craniosynostosis in children.

Using a virtual surgical planning (VSP) software program, our craniofacial surgeons are able to plan your child’s surgery in advance well before your child enters the operating room. Using this 3-D virtual modeling software, our maxillofacial surgeon carefully studies the unique details of your child’s skull and suture closures. The maxillofacial surgeon preplans the exact cuts needed to guide the pediatric neurosurgeon during surgery.

The teamwork and multidisciplinary approach we provide for surgical treatments leads to life-changing outcomes for your child. Our strategic approach using the VSP modeling program results in:

  • Removing minimal sections of the skull to allow for realignment
  • Reducing time under anesthesia by approximately an hour
  • Accurately placed and precise cuts
  • A more predictable and desirable result after surgery

Our Cranial Remolding Program

Our Cranial Remolding Program, in partnership with UT Health San Antonio, specializes in the treatment of head shape abnormalities. Our team of highly skilled professionals are nationally known for their successful treatment of plagiocephaly and post-operative craniosynostosis.

Once an infant has been referred to us by a doctor, we evaluate their head shape using an FDA-approved, state-of-the-art STARscanner. This eye-safe laser allows us to scan an infant’s head in less than two seconds. The STARscanner provides data that helps us determine the best approach to treatment. It’s also used to document changes in the shape of the infant’s head over the course of a specific treatment plan.

After the scans are evaluated and a treatment plan is established, the infant is fitted with a STARband cranial remolding orthotic helmet. These cranial remolding helmets guide and promote growth to specific areas while preventing growth in other areas of the head.

Most babies with craniosynostosis are required to wear one of these specialty helmets following their surgery for several months. The time required to wear the cranial remolding orthotic depends on the baby’s needs as well as the severity of their condition.

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