Comparison of Head Shape Outcomes in Metopic Synostosis Using Limited Strip Craniectomy and Open Vault Reconstruction Techniques

Mark Philip Pressler, Rami R. Hallac, Emily L. Geisler, James R. Seaward, Alex A. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aim: Metopic craniosynostosis (MCS), with its trigonocephalic head shape, is often treated with either limited incision strip craniectomy (LISC) followed by helmet orthotic treatment, or open cranial vault reconstruction techniques (OCVR). There is controversy regarding resultant shape outcomes among craniofacial surgeons. Those adverse to LISC claim normal head shape is never attained, while proponents believe there is gradual correction to an equivalent outcome. This study aims to quantitate, over time, the three-dimensional (3D) head shapes in patients who have undergone LISC or OCVR intervention for MCS. Methods: Sixty-three 3D images of 26 patients with MCS were analyzed retrospectively. Head shape analyses were performed at: (1) preoperative, (2) 1-month postoperative, (3) 10 to 14 months postoperative (1 year), and (4) 2 years postoperative. Composite 3D head shapes of patients were compared at each time point. Two-dimensional (2D) standardized cross sections of the forehead were also compared. Results: Composite head shapes for both groups were nested, to allow visual comparison as the child’s forehead grows and expands. The difference between LISC and OCVR 2D cross sections was calculated; 108.26 mm preoperatively, 127.18 mm after 1-month postoperative, 51.05 mm after 10 to 14 months postoperative, and 27.03 mm after 2 years postoperative. Conclusions: This study found excellent head shape outcomes for both the LISC and OCVR techniques at 2 years of age. It also corroborates the slow and progressive improvement in head shape with the LISC technique. This study highlights the advantages of 3D photography for measurement of contour outcomes, utilizing both 2D vector and 3D whole head analytical techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • aesthetics
  • cephalometry
  • craniofacial growth
  • craniofacial morphology
  • endoscopy
  • surgical technique
  • synostosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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