Microscopic minimally invasive approach to nonsyndromic craniosynostosis

John F. Teichgraeber, James E. Baumgartner, Amy L. Waller, Scott M. Reis, Marshall T. Stafford, Laura E. Hollinger, Jaime Gateno, James J. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this retrospective study was to present the results of the authors' microscopic minimally invasive approach in the treatment of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. METHODS: From 2001 to 2007, the authors treated a cohort of 67 infants with nonsyndromic sagittal, unicoronal, bicoronal, and metopic craniosynostosis, either with the microscopic (n = 40) or the open (n = 27) approach. In the microscopic approach, incisions were placed over the premature suture, and using a surgical microscope, the appropriate synostectomy was performed. The open approach used a traditional coronal incision with cranial vault reconstruction. Both groups of patients had postoperative molding helmet therapy. Finally, anthropometric measurements were used to evaluate the treatment results. The measurement used for the patients with sagittal and bicoronal craniosynostoses was the divergence from the norm of the age-adjusted cephalic index. The (FZr-EUl/FZl-EUr) and (FZr-EUr)/(FZl-EUl) were used for the patients with unicoronal craniosynostosis. The divergence from the norm of age-adjusted (FTr-FTl)/(Tr-Tl) was used for the patients with metopic craniosynostosis. (FZr = right frontozygomaticus, EUl = left eurion, FZl = left frontozygomaticus, Eur = right eurion, FTr = right frontotemporale, FTl = left frontotemporale, Tr = tragion, Tl = left tragion). RESULTS: The median surgical times for microscopic and open approaches were 108 and 210 minutes, the volumes of blood loss were 75 and 220 mL, the durations of hospital stay were 2 and 4 days, the numbers of helmet were 2 and 1, and the durations of helmet therapy were 10.5 and 8 weeks, respectively. The analysis of variance for repeated measures showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups in any of the craniosynostoses. CONCLUSIONS: The treatment outcomes from the microscopic minimally invasive approach to craniosynostosis are equal to those seen with the open approach. The microscopic approach results in less operative time, blood loss, and hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1492-1500
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Craniosynostosis
  • Microscopic
  • Minimally invasive approach
  • Nonsyndromic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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