In craniofacial surgery, the most common techniques for treatment of brachycephaly have been either to let the forehead float on the brain or to fix it in an advanced position. Since neither of these techniques renders acceptable results with enough consistency, we have developed a different way of addressing the problem. In principle, the design of the operation is to restrict upward and transverse growth of the cranium but to allow anterior and posterior expansion. This is accomplished by producing transverse tension across the skull and letting it expand anteriorly by means of a superiorly hinged fronto-orbital flap and posteriorly by an inferiorly based occipital flap. To prevent upward expansion at the squamosal sutures when still open, these junctions are bridged with miniplates. This surgical technique has brought definite improvement to the results even in some Apert syndrome children. During a 2-year period, we have treated 14 infants with this technique and followed 10 of them with roentgencephalometry, 3 for more than 1 year, and 4 for more than 6 months. The diagnoses were the following: nonsyndromal bicoronal synostosis (4), Apert (7), bicoronal synostosis with midline cleft, Saethre-Chotzen, and Antley-Bixler (1 each). The mean age of surgery was 6.6 months (range 3 to 16 months). There were no major complications.
From the Department of Selected Clinical Sciences, Division of Plastic Surgery, and the Department of Orthodontics at Göteborg University. Received for publication December 7, 1994; revised March 22, 1995.
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the E.U.R.A.P.S., in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 15, 1994.
Claes Lauritzen, M.D. Craniofacial Unit Department of Plastic Surgery Sahigrenska University Hospital S-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden