Flat head in two y.o. - surgery necessary??

Penny - posted on 05/06/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter is now 2 y.o. and has just been diagnosed with Acquired Plagiocephaly, or 'flat head syndrom'. From a very early age we noticed her head was mishaped, but mistakenly believed it would improve by 3 y.o. I did change her sleeping position regularly, but obviously it wasn't enough. Today I was told by a specialist that the only option to correct it now is cosmetic surgery. During our discussion, the specialist pointed out that one eye bulges out more than the other and therefore looks bigger. I had noticed the eye, but not the bulge. My husband had not noticed either. We have seen a number of peds whom didn't notice or didn't see any need for attention to the shape of her head at all, and it was only due to my insistance that we got to see a specialist.

Since my daughter has very fine hair people sometimes comment on the shape of her head. As a parent, I feel that I should do whatever is necessary to resolve this issue. My question is, what kind of symptoms require surgery? Has anyone ever gone through it? What are the risks and how common is it carried out?? I live in Asia, where (according to this specialist) the comparitively round heads mean this type of condition doesn't stand out very much. He went on to say that the medical options were very limited here compared to Western countries, where he's heard surgery was common. I would love to hear from anyone who's been through, or considered it.

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Louise - posted on 05/07/2012

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I have not been through this but can only give you my opinion as a western mum. If my child had a flat head and it was very noticeable then I would consider surgery. I would do this to stop the potential bullying and self confidence issues in later life. You say your daughters eye is bulging is this because of the shape of the head? If it is then have it done. The eye is only going to get more squashed as her head grows. It is easier to do this before the age of three as the skull is still soft. Without seeing your daughter it is difficult to say if you are seeing more than a person that does not know about her condition. Only you can decide that.

With every surgery there is a risk to your daughters life although small. The best way forward is to find a surgeon that you trust and ask him his advice. You need to know if the brain is ok or if it will be squashed or misshaped to fit the skull. You need to know if her eye socket will get any worse and of course you need to know what the general risks are of general infections and anaesthetics. Only then can you make an informed choice on the way forward.

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Penny - posted on 09/06/2012

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Thanks for your comment, Louise. I am sorry - I only just figured out who to get back to this page!!



My husband and I decided our daughter's condition does not warrant surgery. It does prey on my mind, though, as to how it's going to possibly change as she gets older. As you mentioned, I would hate for it to lead to bullying later in life. Our specialist told me that the head doesn't change much after 1 year of age, so that it's not going to get any better or worse than it already is, although I find it difficult to imagine that her very small head is not going to change very much in the next 20 years!!



I think I'll go back and talk to him so more about my concerns. Thanks again for your input.

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