Open cranial vault remodeling techniques require rigid fixation with hardware such as plates and screws; however, complications can occur. The purpose of this study was to assess the surgical outcome after open reconstruction for craniosynostosis with less rigid fixation using nonabsorbable suture.
Retrospective review of patients who underwent open craniofacial reconstruction for craniosynostosis at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur between January 2011 and December 2016 were performed. Demographic data, surgical complications, and postoperative aesthetic outcomes and reoperations were evaluated using Whitaker classification. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS.
Thirty-four (n = 34) cases were included in this review consisting of 16 males and 18 females (ratio 1:1.25). Sixteen patients were syndromic with multiple suture synostoses: Apert syndrome (n = 8), Crouzon syndrome (n = 6), and Muenke's syndrome (n = 2). Eighteen patients were nonsyndromic: isolated single-suture craniosynostosis (n = 12) and multiple suture involvement (n = 6). Mean age of presentation was 17.4 months (4–16 months) with mean age of surgery of 23.8 months (6–68 months). Mean length of surgery was 6.1 hours (range 3–10 hours) and mean length of hospital stay was 10 days (mean 7–20 days). Mean duration of follow-up was 2.2 years (6 month–4 years). There were a total of 9 complications postoperatively: massive blood loss (n = 4), seroma (n = 2), exposure keratitis (n = 1), hand extravasation (n = 1), and occipital sore (n = 1). Analysis showed multiple suture craniosynostoses were associated with longer operative times (4.3 hours vs 6.5 hours, P = 0.0082 < 0.05) and higher blood transfusion (170 mL vs 275 mL, P = 0.0274 < 0.05). Older age was also associated with higher blood transfusion (135.5 mL; <12 months vs 250.2 mL; 12–24 months vs 302.1 mL; >24 months of age, P = 0.00059). Patients were categorized as 88.2% (n = 30) Whitaker I and II and 11.8% (n = 4) Whitaker III and IV. Reoperation rates were 2.9% (n = 1). Whitaker III and IV class were higher among patients with syndromic synostosis, unicoronal and multiple suture synostoses.
Our technique of open cranial reconstruction with nonabsorbable suture nylon 2/0 as sole method of fixation has resulted in good aesthetic outcome with low reoperations and complications rate. Longer follow-up is needed to ascertain our long-term results.