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Surgery Gives the Infant Brain a Window in Which to Grow

February 2005

by Will Sansom

Abnormal skull

Dr. David Jimenez and Dr. Constance Barone have pioneered a new minimally invasive surgical technique outlined below. See related story

Abnormal skull: If a suture is fused, craniosynostosis occurs, resulting in elongation of the head, bulging forehead or other deformities.

The endoscopic surgery averages an hour or less and blood loss is about two tablespoons. The traditional technique averages five hours and requires a pint of blood (almost the whole volume of a baby’s blood). Bishop Uhlrich’s operation opened a closed sagittal suture, which runs along the top of the head. The dura mater, the membrane directly under the skull, is exposed after bone is removed.

Surgery procedure
Custom helmet

After surgery, the infant is fitted with a tailor-made helmet. He will wear three or more the first year to maintain the shape of his skull as his head grows.

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