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Is Craniosynostosis Cosmetic?

Although this term may sometimes be used in medicine to explain to a family that the synostosis at the time, is not and may not cause any neurological concern, the term cosmetic means just that.  At this time it is “cosmetic in nature” try not to get bogged down by the use of this term.

A procedure is cosmetic when intended to change a physical appearance that would be considered within normal human anatomic variation. Cosmetic services are often described as those that are primarily intended to preserve or improve appearance.

Reconstructive surgery is typically performed to improve function, to make a deformity appear more normal, or to alleviate health complications associated with the abnormality.

Craniosynostosis is not cosmetic.

The need for surgery is both for cosmetic and functional reasons.  The misshaped skull can lead to body image problems later in life. In some cases, there can be raised ICP. The goal of treatment is to restore normal appearance of the skull and increase the cranial volume so that the growing brain can be accommodated without any pressure. When Craniosynostosis goes uncorrected continued calvarial deformity can lead to abnormalities in the cranial base.

Families often worry when they hear the word “elective” regarding their child’s surgery.

An elective procedure is simply one that is planned in advance, rather than one that’s done in an emergency situation. A wide range of surgical procedures can be considered elective. Craniosynostosis surgery is typically an elective procedure but that does not mean that it is not a necessary procedure.

There is an incidence of raised intracranial pressure in non-syndromic synostosis.

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