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Craniosynostosis is a premature closure of the skull sutures and may cause brain developmental issues. Early diagnosis of such condition is important to avoid late sequaele in the brain development.
Craniosynostosis may be expressed as a condition of the skull (with no other physical abnormalities), as part of a craniofacial syndrome, or as a single aspect of a variety of distinct syndromes. In rare cases, craniosynostosis can occur with a syndrome like Crouzon or Apert Syndrome.
Craniosynostosis has five major “categories,” designated by the suture(s) involved:
- Metopic Synostosis
- Coronal Synostosis
- Sagittal Synostosis
- Lambdoidal Synostosis
- Multiple Suture Synostosis
FRANCESCO GARGANO MD
When a child is born with a craniofacial condition, we evaluate many factors to develop the most effective treatment plan. Dr. Francesco Gargano, a veteran in craniosynostosis surgery, will carefully study how the condition has affected the child’s underlying structures and functions, including the brain and facial skeleton, the central nervous system, the senses, and parts of the spine (cervical vertebrae).
Dr. Francesco Gargano aims to give the child’s brain room to grow properly in all directions without resistance – by separating or “releasing” the fused skull sutures.
This surgery can be conducted on babies as young as three months old up until about six months of age.
THE CAUSES OF CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS
A baby’s FGFR-2 protein is supposed to direct immature cells to become bone cells during early development in the womb. Also, this protein tells immature cells when they should stop becoming bone cells. In craniosynostosis, though, we believe that the FGFR-2 gene may not properly produce the FGFR-2 protein, so it doesn’t know when to stop telling tissue to become bone. Without clear information to “stop bone production,” the soft skull sutures form bone before they should fuse – leading to abnormal growth patterns.
This disturbance to the bone formation may be the only obvious concern or may result in other difficulties. Craniosynostosis may be expressed as a skull-shaped condition with no other physical anomalies, as part of a craniofacial syndrome (such as Apert, Crouzon, or Pfeiffer), or as one single aspect of a variety of distinct syndromes.
PROCEDURE FOR SURGERY
Dr. Francesco Gargano, an expert plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York, will perform the procedure. The procedure may be performed by endoscopy or open surgery. In general, both types of procedures produce very good cosmetic results, with low risk of complications.
Endoscopic surgery: This minimally invasive surgery may be considered for babies up to age 6 months with mild conditions. Endoscopic surgery has a smaller incision compared to an open procedure, typically involves only a one-night hospital stay, and usually does not require a blood transfusion.
Open surgery: In general, open surgery is done for babies older than 6 months and when the condition is severe. Typically, open surgery involves a three or four day hospital stay and usually requires a blood transfusion. It is usually a one-time procedure, but multiple open surgeries are often required in complex cases to correct the head shape of the baby.
If you have a child or another family member who is suffering from a genetic syndrome or has a craniofacial complication, we can help.
Meet Dr. Gargano
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, New York
Dr. Francesco Gargano has extensively trained around the world and is committed to healing through individualized care. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Dr. Gargano received his medical degree from the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy, graduating magna cum laude. He continued his education at Sapienza University where he earned his PhD in Plastic Surgery, Human Anatomy and Dermatology, and completed his first residency in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
BEFORE & AFTERS
View our featured gallery to review some before and afters from real patients.