Management of Sagittal Synostosis: A Solution to Equipoise

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In the craniofacial surgery literature, there is a wide disparity of opinions regarding the appropriate treatment of nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis. With the lack of level 1 evidence to support a particular regimen, our study aims to elucidate the current state of practice among craniofacial surgeons with the hope of establishing a standard of care.


An internet-based survey was sent to 102 craniofacial surgeons in 14 countries on 4 continents. Data were collected regarding the following parameters: primary indication for surgery, preference of timing, and choice of operative intervention for patients presenting with nonsyndromic isolated sagittal synostosis with normative intracranial pressure values. Surgeons were also queried regarding preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative protocols.


After 2 mailings, the response rate was 58% (59/102). For 63% of respondents, skull deformity was the primary indication for treatment of craniosynostosis.


Open surgical management of sagittal craniosynostosis was most commonly performed at 6 months (35%) of age. Total cranial vault remodeling was the most commonly performed procedure (37%). Thirty-five percent of craniofacial surgeons chose an endoscopic surgical approach for patients presenting at younger than 4 months. Only 10% of craniofacial surgeons selected spring-assisted strip craniectomy. Seventy-one percent of polled surgeons performed computed tomographic scans of the skull in all cases, irrespective of presentation.


Our survey demonstrates that there exists a wide disparity of opinion regarding diagnosis and treatment of nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis. When current practice is compared to findings in the literature, significant discrepancies exist.

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