Craniosynostosis, the premature closure of calvarial sutures, results in characteristic skull deformations. Correction of craniosynostosis has traditionally involved an open cranial vault remodeling procedure. A technique recently developed uses an endoscope to perform a strip craniectomy in conjunction with a postoperative molding helmet to guide cranial growth. Few studies compare these 2 approaches to the treatment of the various forms of craniosynostosis. In this study, we present a single institution’s experience with open cranial vault remodeling and endoscope-assisted strip craniectomy.
This study is a retrospective review of 57 patients that underwent craniosynostosis repair by either the endoscope-assisted or open techniques, and compared operating room times, blood loss, volume of transfused blood, length of hospital stay, and overall costs.
The endoscopic technique is performed on younger children (4.7 months vs 10.6 months, P = 0.001), has shorter operating room times (2 hours 13 minutes vs 5 hours 42 minutes, P = 0.001), lower estimated blood loss (74.4 mL vs 280.2 mL, P = 0.001), less transfused blood (90.6 mL vs 226.9 mL), shorter hospital stays (1.2 days vs 4.9 days, P = 0.001), and decreased cost ($24,404 vs $42,744, P = 0.008) relative to the traditional open approach.
Issues with the endoscope-assisted procedure primarily concerned the postoperative helmet regimen, specifically patient compliance (17.1% noncompliance rate) and minor skin breakdown (5.7%). The endoscope-assisted repair with postoperative helmet molding therapy is a cost-effective procedure with less operative risk and minimal postoperative morbidity. This is a valuable treatment option in younger patients with compliant caregivers.