First Of It’s Kind Surgery Performed On Triplets With Rare Skull Condition

May 1, 2017
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A  couple from NY who had triplet boys, spent the first few weeks of their children’s lives in the neonatal intensive care unit. The triplets have a rare skull condition called Craniosynostosis and just 9 weeks after their babies’ birth, first-time parents Amy and Michael Howard had to watch their 3 boys undergo corrective head surgery.

Craniosynostosis is a congenital premature fusion of one or more sutures on a baby’s skull which threatens vision and brain growth.

It occurs in 1 in 2,500 births, meaning that a diagnosis in all 3 babies was incredibly rare.

“Jackson, Hunter and Kaden all had endoscopic surgery, which typically takes between 90 and 180 minutes, and has an average hospital stay of one night,” Dr. David Chelser, the boys’ pediatric neurosurgeon said in a news release.

The surgery is believed to be the first-ever performed on triplets. It involves releasing the prematurely closed suture via two small incisions. For Hunter and Jackson, who are identical, the procedure corrected their Sagittal Synostosis – which is the most common form of Craniosynostosis. Their fraternal sibling, Kaden, underwent the procedure to address his Metopic Synostosis, which could result in a triangular-shaped forehead.

“This procedure has comparable results to traditional open-skull surgery, but open surgery can take from two to six hours and require around five days in the hospital,” Chelser said. “In addition, there is rarely a need for blood transfusions with endoscopic surgery, unlike open-skull, so the risk of blood loss and complications are dramatically lowered.”

As part of the recovery process, the boys were given custom-fit helmets they will need to wear 23 hours out of every day. The helmets are meant to help guide and mold the shape of their skulls as they continue to grow.

Three months after the surgery, the Howards said their 5-month-old boys are thankfully hitting all developmental milestones.

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