Timothy W. Vogel, Albert S. Woo, Alex A. Kane, Kamlesh B. Patel, Sybill D. Naidoo and Matthew D. Smyth
The surgical management of infants with sagittal synostosis has traditionally relied on open cranial vault remodeling (CVR) techniques; however, minimally invasive technologies, including endoscope-assisted craniectomy (EAC) repair followed by helmet therapy (HT, EAC+HT), is increasingly used to treat various forms of craniosynostosis during the 1st year of life. In this study the authors determined the costs associated with EAC+HT in comparison with those for CVR.
The authors performed a retrospective case-control analysis of 21 children who had undergone CVR and 21 who had undergone EAC+HT. Eligibility criteria included an age less than 1 year and at least 1 year of clinical follow-up data. Financial and clinical records were reviewed for data related to length of hospital stay and transfusion rates as well as costs associated with physician, hospital, and outpatient clinic visits.
The average age of patients who underwent CVR was 6.8 months compared with 3.1 months for those who underwent EAC+HT. Patients who underwent EAC+HT most often required the use of 2 helmets (76.5%), infrequently required a third helmet (13.3%), and averaged 1.8 clinic visits in the first 90 days after surgery. Endoscope-assisted craniectomy plus HT was associated with shorter hospital stays (mean 1.10 vs 4.67 days for CVR, p < 0.0001), a decreased rate of blood transfusions (9.5% vs 100% for CVR, p < 0.0001), and a decreased operative time (81.1 vs 165.8 minutes for CVR, p < 0.0001). The overall cost of EAC+HT, accounting for hospital charges, professional and helmet fees, and clinic visits, was also lower than that of CVR ($37,255.99 vs $56,990.46, respectively, p < 0.0001).
Endoscope-assisted craniectomy plus HT is a less costly surgical option for patients than CVR. In addition, EAC+HT was associated with a lower utilization of perioperative resources. Theses findings suggest that EAC+HT for infants with sagittal synostosis may be a cost-effective first-line surgical option.
Rowland H. Han, Dennis C. Nguyen, Brent S. Bruck, Gary B. Skolnick, Chester K. Yarbrough, Sybill D. Naidoo, Kamlesh B. Patel, Alex A. Kane, Albert S. Woo and Matthew D. Smyth
The authors present a retrospective cohort study examining complications in patients undergoing surgery for craniosynostosis using both minimally invasive endoscopic and open approaches.
Over the past 10 years, 295 nonsyndromic patients (140 undergoing endoscopic procedures and 155 undergoing open procedures) and 33 syndromic patients (endoscopic procedures in 10 and open procedures in 23) met the authors’ criteria. Variables analyzed included age at surgery, presence of a preexisting CSF shunt, skin incision method, estimated blood loss, transfusions of packed red blood cells, use of intravenous steroids or tranexamic acid, intraoperative durotomies, procedure length, and length of hospital stay. Complications were classified as either surgically or medically related.
In the nonsyndromic endoscopic group, the authors experienced 3 (2.1%) surgical and 5 (3.6%) medical complications. In the nonsyndromic open group, there were 2 (1.3%) surgical and 7 (4.5%) medical complications. Intraoperative durotomies occurred in 5 (3.6%) endoscopic and 12 (7.8%) open cases, were repaired primarily, and did not result in reoperations for CSF leakage. Similar complication rates were seen in syndromic cases. There was no death or permanent morbidity. Additionally, endoscopic procedures were associated with significantly decreased estimated blood loss, transfusions, procedure length, and length of hospital stay compared with open procedures.
Rates of intraoperative durotomies and surgical and medical complications were comparable between endoscopic and open techniques. This is the largest direct comparison to date between endoscopic and open interventions for synostosis, and the results are in agreement with previous series that endoscopic surgery confers distinct advantages over open surgery in appropriate patient populations.
Afshin Salehi, Katherine Ott, Gary B. Skolnick, Dennis C. Nguyen, Sybill D. Naidoo, Alex A. Kane, Albert S. Woo, Kamlesh B. Patel and Matthew D. Smyth
The goal of this study was to identify the rate of neosuture formation in patients with craniosynostosis treated with endoscope-assisted strip craniectomy and investigate whether neosuture formation in sagittal craniosynostosis has an effect on postoperative calvarial shape.
The authors retrospectively reviewed 166 cases of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis that underwent endoscope-assisted repair between 2006 and 2014. Preoperative and 1-year postoperative head CT scans were evaluated, and the rate of neosuture formation was calculated. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the CT data were used to measure cephalic index (CI) (ratio of head width and length) of patients with sagittal synostosis. Regression analysis was used to calculate significant differences between patients with and without neosuture accounting for age at surgery and preoperative CI.
Review of 96 patients revealed that some degree of neosuture development occurred in 23 patients (23.9%): 16 sagittal, 2 bilateral coronal, 4 unilateral coronal, and 1 lambdoid synostosis. Complete neosuture formation was seen in 14 of those 23 patients (9 of 16 sagittal, 1 of 2 bilateral coronal, 3 of 4 unilateral coronal, and 1 of 1 lambdoid). Mean pre- and postoperative CI in the complete sagittal neosuture group was 67.4% and 75.5%, respectively, and in the non-neosuture group was 69.8% and 74.4%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the CI between the neosuture and fused suture groups preoperatively or 17 months postoperatively in patients with sagittal synostosis.
Neosuture development can occur after endoscope-assisted strip craniectomy and molding helmet therapy for patients with craniosynostosis. Although the authors did not detect a significant difference in calvarial shape postoperatively in the group with sagittal synostosis, the relevance of neosuture formation remains to be determined. Further studies are required to discover long-term outcomes comparing patients with and without neosuture formation.
Dennis C. Nguyen, Scott J. Farber, Gary B. Skolnick, Sybill D. Naidoo, Matthew D. Smyth, Alex A. Kane, Kamlesh B. Patel and Albert S. Woo
Endoscope-assisted repair of sagittal craniosynostosis was adopted at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 2006. This study examines the first 100 cases and reviews the outcomes and evolution of patient care protocols at our institution.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review of the first 100 consecutive endoscopic repairs of sagittal craniosynostosis between 2006 and 2014. The data associated with length of hospital stay, blood loss, transfusion rates, operative times, cephalic indices (CIs), complications, and cranial remolding orthosis were reviewed. Measurements were taken from available preoperative and 1-year postoperative 3D reconstructed CT scans.
The patients’ mean age at surgery was 3.3 ± 1.1 months. Of the 100 patients, 30 were female and 70 were male. The following perioperative data were noted. The mean operative time (± SD) was 77.1 ± 22.2 minutes, the mean estimated blood loss was 34.0 ± 34.8 ml, and the mean length of stay was 1.1 ± 0.4 days; 9% of patients required transfusions; and the mean pre- and postoperative CI values were 69.1 ± 3.8 and 77.7 ± 4.2, respectively. Conversion to open technique was required in 1 case due to presence of a large emissary vein that was difficult to control endoscopically. The mean duration of helmet therapy was 8.0 ± 2.9 months. Parietal osteotomies were eventually excluded from the procedure.
The clinical outcomes and improvements in CI seen in our population are similar to those seen at other high-volume centers. Since the inception of endoscope-assisted repair at our institution, the patient care protocol has undergone several significant changes. We have been able to remove less cranium using our “narrow-vertex” suturectomy technique without affecting patient safety or outcome. Patient compliance with helmet therapy and collaborative care with the orthotists remain the most essential aspects of a successful outcome.