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A new surgery technique helps 6-month-old after craniosynostosis diagnosis

Kate was the first baby in Texas to get this minimally invasive procedure


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HOUSTON – Craniosynostosis is a condition in which the growth seams, or sutures, of an infant’s skull close prematurely, making it difficult for a baby’s skull to grow properly, and without causing some deformities of the skull and face.

In the past, patients diagnosed with craniosynostosis faced an open procedure that required removing, reshaping, and replacing the skull bones. However, with advancements in technology and ingenuity, surgeons can now offer infant patients a more minimally invasive approach.

Dr. Phuong Nguyen, pediatric plastic surgeon with UT Physicians, knew immediately after seeing Kate that she had Unicoronal Synostosis. He then proceeded with a fronto-orbital osteotomy with placement of a distraction device.

This device slowly pushes the skull forward over time by turning an extension arm. Similar to the method for growing the bones of a leg for uneven legs, this technique allows doctors to slowly put the skull and orbits into a more normal position while creating room for the brain, and minimizing any bony gaps. Also, this technique takes half the time, half the blood loss, and half the hospital stay of the open technique.

This is just one example of the many surgical advancements happening at UT Physicians. To learn more about this procedure, visit their website.