Comparison of aesthetic outcomes between open and endoscopically treated sagittal craniosynostosis

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  • 1 Departments of Neurological Surgery and
  • | 2 Plastic Surgery, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama; and
  • | 3 Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
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OBJECTIVE

In the last several decades, there has been much debate regarding the ideal treatment for sagittal synostosis. The purpose of this study was to compare perioperative, anthropometric, and subjective assessments of cosmetic outcomes between open and endoscopic management of isolated sagittal synostosis.

METHODS

At their routine postoperative follow-up, pediatric patients with sagittal craniosynostosis were recruited to undergo digital cranial measurement and standardized photography for objective and subjective assessments of perioperative outcomes. Age-normalized z-scores for cephalic index, head circumference, euryon-euryon diameter (Eu-Eu), and glabella-opisthocranion diameter (G-Op) were calculated for each patient. Faculty surgeons, surgical trainees, nurses, and laypersons were asked to rate the normalcy of craniofacial appearances using a 5-point Likert scale. Outcomes were compared between patients treated with endoscopic correction and those treated with open repair.

RESULTS

A total of 50 patients were included in the study. Thirty-one had undergone open surgical correction, and 19 had undergone endoscopic treatment. Endoscopic repair involved significantly lower operative time, blood loss, transfusion rate, and hospital length of stay than those with open repair (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between groups in terms of z-scores for head circumference (p = 0.22), cephalic index (p = 0.25), or Eu-Eu (p = 0.38). Endoscopic treatment was associated with a significantly lower G-Op (p = 0.009). Additionally, the average subjective rating of head shape was higher for endoscopic treatment when corrected for age, gender, and ethnicity (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The study findings suggest that patients who are treated endoscopically may have an overall more normal appearance in skull morphology and cosmesis, although these results are limited by poor reliability.

ABBREVIATIONS

Eu-Eu = euryon-euryon diameter; G-Op = glabella-opisthocranion diameter; ICC = intraclass correlation coefficient.

Image from Mavridis et al. (pp 404–415).

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