What Is The Right Age To Fix My Son’s Flat Back Of His Head?

Q: Dr. Eppley, My question is about the appropriate age for my son’s skull surgery. I wasnt to get the flat back of his head fixed by an onlay cranioplasty procedure that you have described. He is now 18 months old. Should I wait until my son is older? 

A: There is no right or wrong answer to that timing of surgery question. Such 'cosmetic' skull surgery in a child is unique because they are not in a position to pass judgment about the value/benefits of the procedure. (and they won't be for a long time) Thus it requires the parents to determine the merits of the skull reshaping procedure as they look at the child's long lifespan and their psychosocial development. While that is not that helpful, you have to look at the magnitude of the skull deformity and determine if improving it early justifies surgery. It can be done at anytime as age is not a criteria (beyond 18 to 24 months old) for the surgery. You just want to be sure that the deformity has no chance to improve on its own with future skull growth.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana