Friday, February 26, 2010
Medical Reports: Fixing Babies Heads
It happens to one out of every 2,000 babies. The bones in their skull fuse together causing a pointed head. Surgeons have to operate to relieve pressure on a growing brain. Now, there's a way of fixing the condition with less risk for the smallest patients. 7's Christine Cruz has details in today's Healthcast.
WSVN -- He's not even two yet, but Jack Truitt is learning a lot about family traditions. He recently had surgery on his skull, just like his dad.
Steve Truitt: "When it happened to me, I was three months old."
Both Truitt boys had craniosynostosis. Bones in the skull fuse together causing babies heads to be shaped like footballs.
Steve has a lasting reminder of his operation across his head, but baby Jack will have to rely on his parents and pictures to learn about his surgery.
Steve Truitt: "The difference between my scar and his scar is night and day."
Surgeons took a minimally invasive approach for Jack's operation. Through two small incisions they removed the fused piece of bone at the top of the skull. It relieves the pressure on the brain and allows it to grow normally.
Dr. Edward Ahn, Pediatric Neurosurgeon: "The natural head shape is restored once that restriction is released."
Compared to traditional surgery, the newer approach has a much smaller incision, less blood loss and they're in the hospital one day compared to five to seven.
Dr. Edward Ahn, Pediatric Neurosurgeon: "They come in the morning of surgery and leave the next day without ever receiving anything."
Jack had to wear a helmet after surgery to protect his head, but now he's a typical baby.
Steve Truitt:: "I'd say within a couple of weeks you could see his head go from a football shape to a basketball shape."
A new generation of surgery for the next generation of kids. In order to qualify for this procedure surgeons must operate before three months of age.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Tel: (410) 926-6780