Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEIn this paper the authors review their 16-year single-institution consecutive patient experience in the endoscopic treatment of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis with an emphasis on careful review of any associated treatment-related complications and methods of complication avoidance, including preoperative planning, intraoperative management, and postoperative care and follow-up.METHODSA retrospective chart review was conducted on all patients undergoing endoscopic, minimally invasive surgery for nonsyndromic craniosynostosis at Rady Children’s Hospital from 2000 to 2015. All patients were operated on by a single neurosurgeon in collaboration with two plastic and reconstructive surgeons as part of the institution’s craniofacial team.RESULTSTwo hundred thirty-five patients underwent minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for nonsyndromic craniosynostosis from 2000 to 2015. The median age at surgery was 3.8 months. The median operative and anesthesia times were 55 and 105 minutes, respectively. The median estimated blood loss (EBL) was 25 ml (median percentage EBL 4.2%). There were no identified episodes of air embolism or operative deaths. One patient suffered an intraoperative sagittal sinus injury, 2 patients underwent intraoperative conversion of planned endoscopic to open procedures, 1 patient experienced a dural tear, and 1 patient had an immediate reexploration for a developing subgaleal hematoma. Two hundred twenty-five patients (96%) were admitted directly to the standard surgical ward where the median length of stay was 1 day. Eight patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) postoperatively, 7 of whom had preexisting medical conditions that the team had identified preoperatively as necessitating a planned ICU admission. The 30-day readmission rate was 1.7% (4 patients), only 1 of whom had a diagnosis (surgical site infection) related to their initial admission. Average length of follow-up was 2.8 years (range < 1 year to 13.4 years). Six children (< 3%) had subsequent open procedures for perceived suboptimal aesthetic results, 4 of whom (> 66%) had either coronal or metopic craniosynostosis. No patient in this series either presented with or subsequently developed signs or symptoms of intracranial hypertension.CONCLUSIONSIn this large single-center consecutive patient series in the endoscopic treatment of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis, significant complications were avoided, allowing for postoperative care for the vast majority of infants on a standard surgical ward. No deaths, catastrophic postoperative morbidity, or evidence of the development of symptomatic intracranial hypertension was observed.