Open Versus Minimally Invasive Approach for Craniosynostosis: Analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric

Imran Rizvi, Lucas M. Harrison, Shyon Parsa, Rami R. Hallac, James R. Seaward, Alex A Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This multicenter study aimed to compare demographic, operative, and short-term outcomes data between open and minimally invasive surgical approaches for craniosynostosis repair utilizing the American College of Surgeon’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric (NSQIP-P) database and highlight surgical disparities among races and ethnicities. Design: Retrospective review of large multicenter database. Setting: Freestanding general acute care children's hospitals, children's hospitals within a larger hospital, specialty children's hospitals, or general acute care hospitals with a pediatric wing. Patients and Participants: A total of 4931 pediatric patients underwent craniosynostosis correction within the NSQIP-P database from 2013 to 2019. Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Demographic information included age at surgery, sex, race, and ethnicity. Operative and outcomes measures included operative time, anesthesia time, days until discharge, postoperative complications, blood transfusions, 30-day readmission, and 30-day unplanned return to operating room. Results: Patients who underwent minimally invasive surgery had significantly shorter operative and anesthesia times (p <.001; p <.001), fewer days until discharge (p <.001), fewer postoperative complications (p <.05), and less blood transfusions (p <.001). The proportion of White patients was significantly higher in the minimally invasive surgery group (p <.01), whereas Black and Hispanic patients had a significantly higher proportion in the open surgery group (p <.001; p <.001). Additionally, the percentage of patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery increased from 3.8% in 2014 to over 13% in 2019. Conclusions: This study adds to a growing consensus that minimally invasive surgery has significantly decreased operative time, anesthesia time, transfusion rates, length of hospital stay, and postoperative complications compared to open surgery. Racial and ethnic surgical disparities showed larger proportions of Black and Hispanic populations undergoing open procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • craniofacial morphology
  • craniosynostosis
  • surgical technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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