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Early Surgical Treatment in Anterior Synostotic Plagiocephaly

Is This the Best Choice?

Gasparini, Giulio, MD*; Saponaro, Gianmarco, MD*; Moro, Alessandro, MD*; De Angelis, Paolo, DDS; Pelo, Sando, MD*

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004809
Clinical Studies

At the end of craniofacial growth, in anterior synostotic plagiocephaly, some aesthetical deficiencies may still be evident. This can depend on an inadequate initial correction or on altered postoperative growth or even on the combination of the 2 factors.

Aesthetic alterations can result from various factors that could potentially affect the skeleton, the skin, subcutaneous, and muscular tissues.

The pathological changes in the cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues are greater in patients who have undergone multiple surgical treatments of the frontoorbital area. The aim of this observational cohort study is to assess the residual aesthetic and functional impairment at the end of skeletal growth, in patients affected by anterior synostotic plagiocephaly who have undergone surgery at an early age. The purpose is to investigate whether early surgery can still be considered unavoidable in patients with this malformation.

Between July 2012 and February 2015, patient's data were retrieved from our archives among the patients referred to our department from 2003 to 2012 for Anterior Synostotic Plagiocephaly at an early age.

The authors studied this patient with CT scans and photographic documentation. On CT scans, the authors have assessed skeletal alterations, soft tissues alterations, and muscular tissue alterations. With photographic documentation, the authors have studied the perception of the malformation among external subjects.

From this study it was possible to demonstrate that is many esthetical alterations are to still to be found in patients treated with an early surgical approach; for this reason in children without early complications, the authors suggest that surgical treatment should be delayed after the end of craniofacial growth.

*UOC Maxillo Facial Surgery, Policlinico Gemelli Foundation IRCCS, Catholic University Medical School of Rome, Rome, Italy

Private practice, Ascoli Piceno, Italia.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Paolo De Angelis, DDS, Via Vittorio Emanuele 28, Ascoli Piceno (63100). Italy; E-mail:

Received 6 May, 2018

Accepted 21 May, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.