Variability in Minimally Invasive Surgery for Sagittal Craniosynostosis

J Craniofac Surg. 2018 Jan;29(1):14-20. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000003997.


Minimally invasive approaches to the surgical correction of sagittal craniosynostosis are gaining favor as an alternative to open cranial vault remodeling. In this systematic review, the reviewers evaluate the variability in described surgical techniques for minimally invasive correction of sagittal craniosynostosis. Articles were selected based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria from an online literature search through PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. Extracted data included the incisions, method of dissection, osteotomies performed, and type of force therapy utilized.A total of 28 articles from 15 author groups were included in the final analysis. Of the 28 articles, 17 distinct techniques were identified. Significant variation existed in both the technique and the terminology used to describe it. Access to the cranium varied between a standard bicoronal incision (n = 2), a "lazy S" incision (n = 2), and multiple short incisions along the fused sagittal suture (n = 13). Additional variations were found in the size and design of the osteotomy, the usage (and duration, if applicable) of force therapy, and the age of the patient at the time of surgical intervention.This systematic review demonstrates that minimally invasive approaches to sagittal craniosynostosis vary widely in technique with respect to the incisions, osteotomies, and force therapy used. Additionally, the terminology employed in describing minimally invasive approaches is inconsistent across centers. This discrepancy between technique and terminology presents challenges for reporting and interpreting the increasing body of literature on this subject. We recommend standard terminology be used for future publications on minimally invasive techniques.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Craniotomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome