Endoscopy-assisted wide-vertex craniectomy, barrel stave osteotomies, and postoperative helmet molding therapy in the management of sagittal suture craniosynostosis

David F. Jimenez, Constance M. Barone, Maria E. McGee, Cathy C. Cartwright, C. Lynette Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Object. Endoscopic techniques were introduced 7 years ago for the surgical management of patients with sagittal synostosis. In this study of 139 patients with sagittal synostosis, the authors assessed the efficacy, safety, complications, and outcomes after performing endoscopy-assisted wide-vertex craniectomies with bitemporal and biparietal barrel stave osteotomies. Methods. The sample population consisted of a total of 99 boys and 40 girls who ranged in age from 0.4 to 9.2 months (mean 3.6 months). Two small incisions were made near the lambda and vertex. Using endoscopic visualization, wide-vertex craniectomies with bilateral temporal and parietal barrel stave osteotomies were performed. Postoperative treatment included custom-made surlyn cranial orthotic devices for cranial reshaping and maintenance. The mean craniectomy width was 5.4 cm and the length was 10 cm. The overall blood transfusion rate was 9% (two intraoperative and 12 postoperative transfusions). The mean estimated blood loss was 29 ml (range 5-150 ml). The mean preoperative hematocrit was 32%, whereas the postoperative level was 27%. One hundred thirty-two patients were discharged the morning following surgery. The majority of patients did not experience facial swelling, and none suffered postoperative fevers. Anthropometric cephalic index measurements indicated that excellent results were obtained in 87% of the patients (cephalic index > 75); good results in 8.7% (cephalic index 70-75); and poor results in 4.3% (cephalic index > 70). There were no cases of intraoperative death, infection, hemorrhage, or venous sinus injury. Conclusions. Analysis of the results indicates that use of the aforedescribed procedure in the early treatment of infants with sagittal synostosis provides excellent outcomes and that the morbidity rate is lower than that associated with traditional cranial vault reconstruction. Detailed anthropometric and radiographic analyses demonstrated that with adequate helmet therapy in our patients normocephaly was achieved and maintained without the need for secondary operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-417
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Craniectomy
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Endoscopy
  • Orthotic helmet
  • Sagittal suture
  • Scaphocephaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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