Triplets, who underwent surgery to treat an extremely rare birth defect called craniosynostosis, are recovering better than expected. The infants from New York were born last October to Amy and Mike Howard. After their birth, doctors noticed that something appeared abnormal about Hunter, Jackson, and Kaden’s skulls. The triplet’s skulls appeared misshapen, which is a classic sign of craniosynostosis, reports TODAY.
Amy Howard told local media that even she and her husband could see that their boy’s heads were slightly malformed.
Craniosynostosis is characterized by the premature fusing of the skull, which can be dangerous for the triplets because they are going to grow quickly. When there are not soft spots that allow the brain to grow children with craniosynostosis are at risk of intracranial pressure, which could result in major developmental delays.
David Chesler, of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, told ABC News that the birth defect can cause increased pressure inside the triplet’s heads, which would have severe consequences on the brain.
A team of doctors at Stoney Brook diagnosed Hunter and Jackson with a version of Craniosynostosis known as sagittal synostosis, which is where the top of the skull fused and leads to the forehead having a pinched look.
Mike Howard states that he and Amy were “freaking out,” but the staff at Stony Brook was amazing throughout the ordeal.
Craniosynostosis is so rare that only 1 out of 2,100 babies are born with it. Hunter, Jackson, and Kaden are the first triplets to be born with the birth defect. Dr. Chesler said the chances of triplets being born with the birth defect “1 in a couple hundred trillion.”
Chester adds that the chances of winning the Powerball or getting struck by lightning are greater than triplets being born with Craniosynostosis.
To fix the problem Chesler and his staff had to perform a procedure to remove a part of the skull from each of the infants. The team performed the surgery in January. The procedure was minimally evasive and involved only a small incision through which Chesler could remove a strip of bone in the area where the skull had prematurely fused. Because Chesler did an endoscopic procedure the surgery took less time as well as reduced the time it would take the triplets to recover. Chesler also added that it reduced the triplet’s chances of needing a blood transfusion, reports the Daily Mail.
Hunter, Jackson, and Kaden are now at home recovering from the surgery to correct the craniosynostosis. They will need to wear a helmet for about six months to keep their skull-shaped properly. The helmets will also prevent their skulls from fusing again. The Howards said the boys are doing awesome and meeting their developmental milestones for four-month old’s.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy Stoney Brook