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Baby Born With Strange Head Shape Diagnosed With Rare Condition

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Matthew Boler was born a healthy baby boy at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women on July 16, 2015. Babies always look weird when they're young so his family didn't think much about the shape of his head, which appeared long and skinny. It wasn't until Matthew's visit to the doctor at two months that they were told some serious news.

His pediatrician Dr. Kristin Koush grew concerned when, as she was examining the boy's head, she was unable to locate Matthew's soft spot at the top of his head. Dr. Koush wasn't certain yet at the time but she told Megan, Matthew's mom, that he might have craniosynostosis, referring the Bolers to pediatric neurosurgeons at Texas Children's.

Megan was shocked to learn her little two-month-old baby boy has a serious condition but Dr. Koush explained that craniosynostosis is not life-threatening. However, Matthew has to meet with a pediatric neurosurgeon at the soonest time possible so his treatment can start.

Still reeling from the news, Megan searched the hospital's pediatric neurosurgery website and found a blog post from Dr. Sandi Lam. There, it was explained that craniosynostosis occurs when a baby's skull bones prematurely fuse together, leading to the odd shape seen on Matthew's head. Cranial sutures are open when babies are born so the brain will be given room to expand and grow.

Dr. Lam met with the Bolers to explain further what was happening to Matthew. According to her, the suture at the top of the boy's head, the sagittal suture, had fused. It would require surgery to correct and Matthew would have to wear a special helmet after the procedure until he's 12 months to guide the development of his head.

Matthew got his helmet a week after the surgery and had to come in every two weeks for adjustments to be made. The Bolers looked forward to these visits to the Hanger Clinic because it meant that their little boy was healing as he should. Actually, Matthew was healing so well that he was allowed to stop wearing his helmet after four months.

He still needs to go to the hospital for regular checkups but now Matthew only needs to come in yearly. Matthew's first birthday is coming up and he and his head are doing just fine.

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