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Piper’s Surgery: Bicanthal Advancement for Craniosynostis at Brenners Children’s Hospital

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The past four days has gone so fast and so slow at the same time.  Four days ago Piper, my four-month-old, had a Bicanthal Advancement for Craniosynostis at Brenners Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  My prayer is that this surgery is the most difficult thing that our family will ever face.  Craniosynostis is when one or more of the natural sutures or cracks in an infant’s head fuse early.  The fusing of the skull typically happens in the womb.

Not terribly common, this syndrome happens with about 1 in 2500 babies and is at times not caught soon enough after birth.  Thankfully, we caught Piper’s problem early due to the fact that her nose was crooked and she was barely able to open her right eye right after delivery. This caused us to watch her head closely and ask to see a specialist.  If the fusion of the skull is not corrected it can cause many health problems for the child.  It can cause pressure on the brain, brain damage, developmental problems, neural problems, and/or eye sight problems once a child gets older and the brain expands.  Since medicine is unable to predict which problems the condition will cause treatment is recommended in all cases.

Many surgeons like to do the surgery between 4 and 5 months, while others choose to do it around 6 and 7 months ideally.  Surgeries are often done on older children, but when a child gets older than 7 months or so the surgery seems to get more and more difficult and traumatic for both the child and the parents. The problem is best caught early.