Baby born with rare skull defect that threatened to leave him BLIND undergoes hours-long sight-saving surgery
- 18-month-old Teddy Jones was born with craniosynostosis a rare birth defect
- It meant the plates of his skull fused too early before his brain is fully grown
- If left untreated he could have suffered problems seeing or even had seizures
- A day-long surgery saw medics remodel his skull so his brain can grow normally
Teddy Jones held in the arms of his father Matthew Jones after his skull surgery
A baby was born with a rare skull defect that could have potentially left him blind.
Teddy Jones, from North Yorkshire, has now undergone major surgery to fix his condition.
The 18-month-old was born with craniosynostosis, when the bones in his skull joined together earlier than normal for children his age.
It can mean there is not enough room for the brain to grow.
If left untreated, his brain could have grown too big for his skull — which could have led to blindness, developmental delays, and seizures.
Teddy, who will turn two in October, underwent the hours-long procedure at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool last week.
Surgeons cut open his head and removed the part of his skull which had developed too early.
The medics then remodelled the bones and built Teddy a new forehead, giving his growing brain plenty of space.
Teddy’s parents said he is doing well post surgery if a little frustrated that he can’t, for now, run around as much as he wants
The 18-month old had craniosynostosis a rare condition where the plates of bone in a baby’s skull joins together earlier than normal. This means the brain does not have the room it needs to grow and if untreated it can lead to sight problems and even seizures
WHAT IS CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS?
Craniosynostosis is a condition caused when gaps in babies’ skulls close early.
These gaps, known as cranial sutures, are needed to enable the skull to grow along with the brain.
But in youngsters with craniosynostosis, one or more of these structures close before or shortly after birth.
This restricts the growth of the skull in one area, leading to overgrowth in another and resulting in an unusually shaped head.
The condition is a rare birth defect that affects an estimated one in every 2,500-3,000 births, with boys three times more likely to develop the condition than girls.
His mother Beki said she dropped him off for the major surgery at about 9am in the morning and only got him back at 6.30pm, about 10 hours later.
‘They’ve cut his head from ear to ear across the top, removed part of his skull and remodelled it, and put it back,’ she said.
‘It took them so long because it’s not one forehead fits all — it’s a bespoke thing. They’ve made it so it fits his face as it didn’t really before.’
Despite the ordeal, Ms Jones reported Teddy was surprisingly spritely post-operation.
‘When he came back he was a bit groggy from all the medication, but he was absolutely cracking,’ she said.
‘You wouldn’t think he’d been through what he went through.’
She said that after a few days Teddy’s eyes swelled up, restricting his vison slightly.
‘Two days after the surgery his eyes swelled up and he couldn’t open them at all, they were really clamped shut,’ Ms Jones added.
‘He was frustrated because he couldn’t run around.
‘He’ll now have enough space for his brain to grow into. It’s absolutely amazing what they can do.’
The bones in babies’ skills usually have small gaps between them to allow the skull to make space for the brain as it increases in size.
But among craniosynostosis sufferers, one or more of these gaps fuses earlier than it is supposed to, restricting the growth of the skull.
Doctors do not know what causes the condition.
The birth defect does not always need to be treated. Sometimes, an unusual skull shape can become less noticeable over time.
It is estimated that about one in every 2,500 babies born in the UK have craniosynostosis.
Surgery is not always necessary to fix craniosynostosis and is generally only considered if it will lead to problems for the baby as they grow.