Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation researchers are in the process of developing novel imaging techniques to predict whether a child's skull bones are likely to grow back together too quickly after surgery. They are also developing technologies that may delay a repeat of the premature fusion process.
Craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon. Treating this condition typically requires surgery after birth to remove portions of the fused skull bones, and in some cases the bones grow together again too quickly -- requiring additional surgeries.
"Babies are usually only a few months old during the first operation, which lasts more than three hours and requires a unit of blood and a stay in the intensive care unit, so our goal is to develop technologies that will simplify the initial surgery and limit affected babies to this one operation," said center co-director Joseph Williams, clinical director of craniofacial plastic surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University.