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Is surgery necessary for craniosynostosis?

Q: My daughter is 13 months old. The paediatrician asked to do a 3D CT scan of the brain. Report reveals craniosynostosis with fusion of coronal sutures on both sides. Doctor says that an operation is required. Her growth is well and all her activities are normal. She walks and she is trying to speak also. Suddenly such an advice from the doctor has created panic in our minds. What is craniosynostosis? Is operation necessary?

A:Craniosynostosis means early closure of the sutures i.e. gaps between four bones which form the skull. This could be either partial, which may result in asymmetric growth of the skull or complete, which makes the skull smaller and after a certain point doesn't allow the skull and the brain to grow. In partial craniosynostosis surgery is advised for cosmetic reasons, especially if the head size is normal. But if it is complete and the head is not growing appropriately, then surgery should be done early to allow adequate brain growth. If surgery is indicated it should be performed before 2 years of age to yield best results.

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