The minimally invasive, endoscopic-assisted craniosynostosis surgery utilizes a small camera to assist with removal of the abnormal bone that causes skull deformity through one or two one-inch incisions. The surgery is performed in one to two hours, children rarely need a blood transfusion, and they typically go home the next day.
Success using the minimally invasive endoscopic-assisted approach is early diagnosis and treatment.
Removal of the prematurely closed suture (the abnormal bone) when the child is between two and six months of age allows the skull to develop a more normal shape as the child grows – this is just one of the options of a minimally invasive procedure.
The use of a helmet for 6-12 months after surgery helps facilitate this bone remodeling.
This is still a big surgery. A big surgery with a little incision and that is important to keep in mind.
Advantages are less blood loss, shorter hospital stay and smaller scars make this surgery more appealing to some parents. Parents must be prepared to have their child in a post operative cranial molding band for up to one year post op.
The downsides include the need for the helmet, and more frequent follow-up in the 6 to 9 months following the operation for helmet adjustments and visits with the surgeon.
It is important that the family find a Cranial Band Provider with Endoscopic and Surgery experience for post operatice care.
There are now more than 100 articles in the literature supporting the safety, and short- and long-term efficacy of this endoscopic technique.