Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Plagiocephaly

When babies are first born, their heads can often be misshapen the first few days, especially after a difficult delivery.  In most cases, the head shape corrects itself shortly after birth and there is no problem. But an increasing number of babies are being diagnosed with plagiocephaly, or having a flat head. Positional plagiocephaly occurs as the baby develops a postion of comfort, lying in bed on one side of the head.  Although this is not a new condition, the number of babies being diagnosed with it has risen considerably over recent years, which is believed to be a consequence of babies sleeping on their backs in order to reduce the incidence of SIDS.  Positional plagiocephaly can also be caused by torticollis, which prevents a baby using his neck muscles properly.  Torticollis is one of the main contributing factors for positional plagiocephaly and can be corrected with physical therapy.  If torticollis is not treated early on, then repositioning will not work as the baby will find it difficult to turn his head in both directions.

A baby with plagiocephaly, like all babies, should be placed on their backs when sleeping, but parents should ensure their baby’s head is placed on the right side one night, the left side the next and the middle the next night.  In addition, it’s important to limit the amount of time a baby spends lying on his back during the day and try to ensure he does not spend too long with his head against hard surfaces.  This can be done by encouraging tummy time.  It is usually not necessary to treat mild cases of plagiocephaly; however, for moderate or severe plagiocephaly, either repositioning or a helmet is recommended, depending on the age of the baby.  Repositioning involves encouraging a baby to lie differently so the affected area is no longer under near-continual pressure, which causes the flatness. This can make a real difference to a baby’s head shape but if the problem is not noticed or treated until a baby is about five-months old, he may need to wear a specially-made helmet to coax his head back into shape. Until a baby is eight or nine months old, the helmets have an excellent chance of success but, by a child’s first birthday, their head is almost completely formed, which is why it’s so important that parents do something about plagiocephaly when they notice it.

Contact Us:

801-581-7719

Jayant Agarwal, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4241
University Hospital (801) 585-2318

Specialties: Breast Surgery, Flap Surgery, Head & Neck Reconstruction, Microsurgery, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Facial, Plastic Surgery, Hand Upper Extremity & Microvascular Surgery, Trunk & Extremity Reconstruction, Wound Healing

Barbu Gociman, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
PCH Outpatient Services at Riverton (801) 581-7073
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 581-7073
University Hospital (801) 581-7073

Specialties: Cleft Lip and Palate, Head & Neck Reconstruction, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic, Plastic Surgery, Facial

W. Bradford Rockwell, M.D.

Locations
Madsen Health Center (801) 585-3253
University Hospital (801) 585-3253

Specialties: Breast Surgery, Flap Surgery, Frostbite, Microsurgery, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic, Plastic Surgery, Facial, Plastic Surgery, Hand Upper Extremity & Microvascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Laser, Trunk & Extremity Reconstruction, Wound Healing

Faizi A. Siddiqi, M.D.

Locations
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 581-5132
University Hospital (801) 581-5132

Specialties: Cleft Lip and Palate, Flap Surgery, Head & Neck Reconstruction, Microsurgery, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Facial, Plastic Surgery, Laser

P. Daniel Ward, M.D., M.S.

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 585-3223
Surgical Specialty Center (801) 585-3223

Specialties: Cleft Lip and Palate, Facial Nerve Disorders, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Head & Neck Reconstruction, Hemifacial Spasm, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology, Melanoma Surgery, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic, Plastic Surgery, Facial, Plastic Surgery, Laser, Wound Healing