At Mayo Clinic, surgeons trained in treating children who have brain and nervous system conditions (pediatric neurosurgeons), plastic and reconstructive surgeons and other doctors work closely as a team to evaluate your child's condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Pediatric neurosurgeons generally treat craniosynostosis through surgery. Surgery often helps to create room for your child's brain to grow, relieve pressure on your child's brain, and improve the appearance of your child's head and face. The type of surgery may vary, depending on your child's age and condition. Your child's surgeon will discuss with you which treatment may be most appropriate for your child.
Your child's treatment may include:
- Endoscopic surgery. In endoscopic surgery (minimally invasive neurosurgery), doctors use a flexible tube with a small camera at the tip (endoscope) to conduct the surgery. The neurosurgeon opens the sutures in your child's skull through one or two small incisions. Your child often will have less swelling and blood loss with endoscopic surgery. After surgery, your child may wear a helmet to help reshape your child's skull until doctors evaluate if the skull is growing properly.
- Traditional open surgery. In surgery, your child's neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon work together to separate the fused bones, reshape your child's skull and repair any facial deformities. Your pediatric neurosurgeon sometimes may use plates and screws to fix the bones in place. Your child may require additional surgeries.
- Repositioning techniques. Doctors may treat other head-shape abnormalities by repositioning your child's skull. Your child sometimes may have a molding device or helmet to help reshape your child's skull.