Surgeon Rebuilds Babies’ Skulls at Cardon Children’s
By Lisa Padilla -
Wednesday Feb 05, 2020
An internationally lauded craniofacial surgeon recently began applying new techniques for surgery on infants at Cardon Children’s Medical Center, to correct a birth defect in which the bones of the skull prematurely fuse together.
The condition, known as craniosynostosis, affects about one in every 2,000 live births. If untreated, it can lead to misshapen skulls, developmental delays and even death. The defect can only be fixed by highly specialized surgery that usually requires removing parts of the skull and reshaping them. Nearly all cases need costly blood transfusions that inherently pose health risks such as post-surgery infections and fevers.
But Robert Wood, MD, a Banner Children’s pediatric craniofacial and plastic surgeon, developed a method to rebuild babies’ skulls in a way that limits the risk of bleeding and complications. His method also drastically shortens the operation, called cranial vault remodeling surgery. In many of Dr. Wood’s cases, babies need little to no transfusions at all, according to a study recently highlighted in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
He recently joined Banner Health, bringing these blood conservation techniques to the Valley for the first time. He is performing these surgeries with Banner pediatric neurosurgeon Ashley Tian, MD.