L04 — January 2011 — Craniosynostosis
Intro: Bringing a new baby home from the hospital is supposed to be a time of joy, wonder and excitement. So imagine what it would be like if, after a couple months at home, you discovered your perfect baby had a problem. That's what happened to a little girl named Lexi. The bones in her head fused too early, and her brain didn't have enough room to grow. Her parents took her to Mayo Clinic for surgery.
She had this indent in her forehead. We kept thinking that since she's a big baby it would just pop out sometime.
But it didn't.
And her eyes and nose are kind of crooked.
Chanda and Lance Mooney learned their baby, Lexi, had a condition called craniosynostosis.
It's a disorder that occurs in the growth plates of the skull.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Ricky Clay told Lance and Chanda that without surgery, Lexi would develop problems as she grew.
There are several growth plates in the skull that allow it to grow in the proper shape.
And if one of those growth plates fuses early, the brain can't grow properly because the skull won't expand. And if it does expand, it will become misshapen. Surgery was necessary, but handing their baby off to doctors wasn't easy.
"Say ba-bye … "
During surgery, Dr. Clay, neurosurgeon Dr. Nicholas Wetjen and their team opened the fused growth plates. Then they realigned them to allow Lexi's head and brain to grow properly. Chanda and Lance took Lexi home just days after the operation.
It was scary to see her eyes swollen shut.
But amazingly, 2 1/2 weeks after surgery Lexi was acting normally. And now, 2 1/2 months afterwards, she's just like any other normal 8-month-old kid.
She was just quite the trooper through this whole thing.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
If Lexi did not have the operation to open the growth plates, she would have been at risk of developmental problems because of increased pressure in her brain. But now, she'll be able to live a normal, healthy life.
Craniosynostosis is rare. There are 10- to 15-thousand cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
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