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Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly is a condition that affects the shape of a baby’s skull. It is often caused by external pressure on the skull, which can occur when a baby spends too much time lying in one position or when a baby is born with an unusually shaped skull. Plagiocephaly is usually harmless and does not affect brain development or cause any neurological problems. While plagiocephaly is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to aesthetic concerns if left untreated. Our experienced craniofacial surgeon works closely with parents to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their child’s unique needs.

There are several different types of plagiocephaly, including:

● Positional plagiocephaly: This is the most common type of plagiocephaly and is caused by external pressure on the skull, often from lying in one position for too long.

● Deformational plagiocephaly: This type of plagiocephaly is caused by a deformity in the skull that occurs during fetal development or birth.

● Craniosynostosis: This is a more severe type of plagiocephaly that is caused by premature fusion of the skull bones.

● Causes and Risk Factors

Diagnosis of plagiocephaly usually occurs shortly after birth, although it can also be diagnosed during routine well-child visits. Treatment of plagiocephaly typically involves a combination of non-surgical interventions, such as repositioning techniques or the use of a special helmet, and in some cases, surgery.

craniosynostosis

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatment options for plagiocephaly include:

● Repositioning techniques: This involves changing the baby’s position regularly and encouraging tummy time to relieve pressure on the skull.

● Physical therapy: This can help to strengthen the baby’s neck muscles and improve overall muscle tone.

● Helmet therapy: This involves the use of a special helmet that is worn for several months to help reshape the skull.

● Surgical Treatment

Surgical treatment of plagiocephaly is usually only necessary in cases where the condition is severe or does not improve with non-surgical interventions. Surgery may involve a procedure called cranial vault remodeling, which involves removing and reshaping portions of the skull bones to achieve a more normal shape.

Plagiocephaly Prevention

While plagiocephaly cannot always be prevented, there are some steps parents can take to reduce the risk of developing the condition, including:

● Encouraging tummy time: This can help to relieve pressure on the skull and promote normal skull growth.

● Changing the baby’s position frequently: This can help to prevent pressure on any one area of the skull.

● Using a carrier or sling: This can help to reduce the amount of time the baby spends lying on their back or in a car seat.

● Avoiding the use of pillows or other devices: These can increase the risk of suffocation and do