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Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago

Craniosynostosis Repair
How Are Facial Differences Surgically Treated?

 

Craniosynostosis Repair Chicago

Every person’s skull is comprised of several plates of bone; when we are born, these plates are softer and are not yet fused together. As our brains grow, the skull is able to grow as well, due to the separate plates of bone the make up the skull. As adults, the plates of bone fuse together, but if the fusion occurs too early or in an abnormal way, it is known as craniosynostosis.

One of the biggest risks with craniosynostosis is pressure on a child’s growing brain. It can also affect eyesight, have neurological impacts, and result in skull and facial asymmetries. The surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are board-certified to perform this complex pediatric procedure, and they perform the surgery using the most innovative and safest techniques possible.

Craniosynostosis Repair

CANDIDATES FOR CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS REPAIR

Craniosynostosis repair is usually performed on children between nine and twelve months of age. In certain situations, treatment can be performed earlier at three months of age using less invasive techniques. Since craniosynostosis can affect a child’s development and growth, early detection and treatment is paramount.

Your pediatrician will be able to identify the symptoms and, through medical evaluation, the severity of the craniosynostosis. You should always consult with a pediatric neurosurgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon before making the decision for your child to undergo craniosynostosis repair.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CONSULTATION

When you consult with a plastic surgeon, you will want to confirm that they have craniofacial surgical training and are experienced in treating pediatric patients with skull deformities caused by craniosynostosis. The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is comprised of expert plastic surgeons and staff that have years of expertise treating children and adults alike.

During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will give you an extensive overview of the procedure, the potential risks associated with it, and the recovery period. Our surgeons will create a personalized treatment plan that best fits your child’s needs.

HOW CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS REPAIR IS PERFORMED

The particular process of a craniosynostosis repair is largely dependent on the severity of the case. Sometimes a fairly simple endoscopic surgery is enough to correct the problem; in other cases, an approach known as an “open repair” must be performed.

The child is first put under general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes incisions, usually along the top of the scalp. The specific placement of the incisions depends on the location of the problem area. Bones in the skull are shifted, or in some cases, removed and reshaped. They are fastened together using resorbable plates and screws that allow the skull to expand as the brain grows; the body eventually absorbs the plates and screws over a period of one to two years after surgery.

Lastly, once the necessary corrections are made, the incisions are closed and sutured.

RECOVERY AFTER CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS REPAIR

Children that undergo craniosynostosis repair recover in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Further treatment may sometimes be necessary in the form of “helmet therapy,” a type of treatment in which a child is fitted with a customized helmet to make gentle, subtle corrections to the shape of the skull. The duration of helmet therapy is typically around three to six months, on average.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS REPAIR

Every surgical procedure carries with it some potential risks. Those associated with craniosynostosis repair may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Hematoma (blood clot)

The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago takes every precaution to mitigate any complications. Our surgical procedures are always performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.

WHAT DOES CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS REPAIR COST?

It is difficult to provide an approximate cost for craniosynostosis repair because the procedure varies greatly between patients. Be sure to discuss all costs with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. Your medical insurance may cover some or all of the cost associated with craniosynostosis repair. Contact your health insurance provider before undergoing the procedure.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

Our top priority at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago is the wellbeing and safety of all of our patients, no matter the age. We specialize in pediatric procedures that very few other plastic surgery centers offer, and we never perform a procedure unless we are certain that it is the best treatment plan for your child. If you have questions about craniosynostosis repair or would like to talk to a surgeon about treatment options, contact us by calling our office or using the form on the Contact Us page.

BEFORE & AFTER

Craniosynostosis Repair Before and After
Craniosynostosis Repair Before and After

 

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Check out this interesting rhinoplasty case where I performed a combined primary rhinoplasty and sliding genioplasty. Fixing the crooked or deviated nose is very challenging for all rhinoplasty surgeons and the goal is to achieve a straighter nose because a perfectly straight nose does not exist. On the frontal view, you can see a nose that is midline and with beautiful dorsal aesthetic lines. On the profile view, you can visual a nice nasal profile with a slight break at the tip. The sliding genioplasty complements the nose and improves the overall proportions and balance of the face. A chin implant would not be able to achieve this amount of chin augmentation or chin length. Posted with permission.

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It’s never too early to starting thinking about that summer body. This patient underwent a mommy makeover or a breast reduction/lift and tummy tuck. Pay close attention to the belly button, this patient had an umbilical hernia, which made the reconstruction of her belly button even harder. Most plastic surgeons take their time trying to make the belly button look as natural as possible since the appearance of the belly button can be an obvious sign that the patient had a tummy tuck. Posted with permission.

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A facial feminization case that highlights how subtle changes can have a major impact on the balance and proportions of the face. Do the post-operative images appear softer, less angular, more refined, and more heart-shaped rather than square-shaped? Can you tell what surgeries were performed? Hint: look closely at the forehead/orbital rims, nose, chin, jawline, and neck. Posted with permission.

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Post-operative results on a patient in her 50’s who wanted improvement in the contour of her neck and jawline. She felt like her neck showed her age and she wanted to appear as she did in her late 30’s. The patient underwent a lower facelift and neck lift. In the post-operative photos, you can see a nice and natural neck contour and improvement in the jawline (jowls were treated). Pay attention to the volume redistribution, now her volume is in a more youthful position at the level of the cheek bones. Her appearance changed from sad and tired to looking as though she is ready to take on the world. Posted with permission.

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6 month follow-up on a patient who underwent a breast reduction and lift for neck and back pain. For this surgery, we reduce the size of the breast and lift the breast and nipple to a more aesthetic position on the chest. These surgeries are some of the most rewarding surgeries plastic surgeons perform due to the impact they have on neck/back pain and improvement in mobility, exercise, and activities of daily living. The scars continue to fade with time and by 1 year, they blend in with the surrounding skin color. Posted with permission.

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Early follow-up (3 months) on a patient with thicker skin, who underwent a primary rhinoplasty. The patient’s goals were to reduce the dorsal hump, refine and lift the tip, but not change her nose significantly. In the post-operative photos you can see a natural result with improvement in the dorsal profile and tip aesthetics. Over the next 8-12 months, the tip will continue to improve in terms of swelling, refinement, and detail. Posted with permission.

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A combined primary rhinoplasty and otoplasty or ear pinning. For the rhinoplasty, the goals of the surgery were to improve the deviation, remove the dorsal hump, and refine the tip. The patient had deviation to the right which was straightened. The dorsal hump was removed to create a nice profile. For the tip, the tip was de-projected, de-rotated and refined. In other words, the tip was brought back closer to the face, rotated downwards, and it was made smaller. Happy for this patient and the improvements we were able to achieve for her. Posted with permission.

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This young patient wanted to feel more confident about the appearance of her ears and to be able to wear her hair up without feeling self-conscious about the asymmetries of her ears. The patient underwent a unilateral otoplasty of the left ear. The patient now proudly wears her hair up and is living her best life. Posted with permission.

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