Craniectomy - child - discharge; Synostectomy - discharge; Strip craniectomy - discharge; Endoscopy-assisted craniectomy - discharge; Sagittal craniectomy - discharge; Frontal-orbital advancement - discharge; FOA - discharge; Cranioplasty
Craniosynostosis repair is surgery to correct a problem that causes the bones of a child's skull to grow together (fuse) too early.
Your child was diagnosed with craniosynostosis. This is a condition that causes one or more of your child's skull sutures (the junction of two skull bones) to close too early. This can cause the shape of your child's head to be different than normal. Sometimes, it can slow normal brain development.
Swelling and bruising on your child's head will get better after 7 days. But swelling around the eyes may come and go for up to 3 weeks.
Your child's sleeping patterns may be different after getting home from the hospital. Your child may be awake at night and sleep during the day. This should go away as your child gets used to being at home.
Your child's surgeon may prescribe a special helmet to be worn, starting at some point after the surgery. This helmet has to be worn to help further correct the shape of your child's head or to prevent unwanted recurrence or changes after surgery.
Your child should not go to school or daycare for at least 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
You'll be taught how to measure your child's head size. You should do this as instructed.
Your child will be able to return to normal activities and diet. Make sure your child doesn't bump or hurt the head in any way. If your child is crawling, you may want to keep coffee tables and furniture with sharp edges out of the way until your child recovers.
If your child is younger than 1 year, ask the surgeon if you should raise your child's head on a pillow during sleeping to prevent swelling around the face. Try to get your child to sleep on the back.
Swelling from the surgery should go away in about 3 weeks.
To help control your child's pain, use children's acetaminophen (Tylenol) as your child's doctor advises.
Keep your child's surgery wound clean and dry until the doctor says you can wash it. Do not use any lotions, gels, or cream to rinse your child's head until the skin has completely healed. Do not soak the wound in water until it heals.
When you are told by your doctor that you may clean the wound, make sure you:
Call your child's doctor if your child:
Also call if the surgery wound:
Demke JC, Tatum SA. Craniofacial surgery for congenital and acquired deformities. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 187.
Fearon JA. Syndromic craniosynostosis. In: Rodriguez ED, Losee JE, Neligan PC, eds. Plastic Surgery: Volume 3: Craniofacial, Head and Neck Surgery and Pediatric Plastic Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 33.
Jimenez DF, Barone CM. Endoscopic treatment of craniosynostosis. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 221.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/10/2022
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery (Pediatrics), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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