Recently a surgery in China changed the life of a little baby who has been having a very rough go of it since birth. The eight-month-old boy was born with craniosynostosis, a condition affecting the structure of the cranium as the bones of the skull close before the brain has a chance to form completely. And as in this patient’s case, premature closure of the skull and resulting undue pressure are what can lead the head and the face itself to become distorted in shape or even unusually elongated.
Obviously, for aesthetic reasons, family and surgeons were seeking solutions for the tiny patient, known as Xiao Yu. But there was a much bigger medical picture looming, as without remedy, craniosynostosis can lead to serious health complications, most commonly as the normal growth pattern of the child’s cranium is inhibited. Beyond that, however, this can be a serious condition that in some cases is life threatening, as well as causing serious developmental delays and the possibility of seizures.