What is craniosynostosis and what causes it?
Craniosynostosis is a group of diseases, of congenital malformations, which consist of a premature closure of the sutures of the bones of the skull. The sutures of the skull are a series of fibrous joints that fundamentally allow the deformation of the skull to pass through the birth canal and in the first year of life allow expansion of the brain, which in this first year of life is exponential, is very fast , so that the skull can expand. If we do not treat the craniosynostosis can result in a problem of closure of the bone case and a series of cranial deformities that we can and should correct.
What symptoms does it present?
The symptoms of craniosynostosis are basically of two types. First of all a very obvious one is the cranial deformity, the closing of a suture or several cranial sutures gives rise to a series of deformities that consist of bulges or flattening of the cranial vault and also of the base of the skull. But in addition to this deformity, which is fundamentally aesthetic, it can end up in a brain compression problem. The closure of these sutures prevents the skull from expanding properly and the brain that is contained inside that inextensible bone case can lead to brain compression problems. This is the fundamental reason why a craniosynostosis should be treated preferably in the first year of life.
What does the surgery consist of?
The treatment of craniosynostosis is surgical. This treatment should ideally be done in the first year of life. When craniosynostosis is simple, we can opt for minimally invasive surgeries. The minimally invasive surgeries consist of a series of small cuts in the bone that we make through small cranial incisions through which we are going to expand that cranial vault and correct the accompanying deformities. In those craniosynostosis in which there are several affected sutures, as in the case of craniofacial syndromes, we must carry out more aggressive surgeries in which we perform a remodeling of the entire fronto-orbital region and the cranial vault in order to correct both the deformity aesthetics like the unextension of the skull. Really in the hands of an expert team in a unit where both surgeons and anesthetists, as nursing and auxiliary team are well coordinated, the options of having a good evolution and minimal morbidity are very high. And the outcome of these patients is generally very satisfactory.