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Neurosurgery Innovative Neurosurgery Restores Healthy Skull Development
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Innovative Neurosurgery Restores Healthy Skull Development

Lucas Poell was just 2 weeks old when his parents noticed the ridge along the left side of his skull. Subtle at first, their pediatrician told them to wait and see whether the ridge would progress. They didn't have to wait long for an answer.

During the next few weeks, the right side of Lucas' skull began to bulge, and the alignment of his eyes became stretched and unbalanced. A standard X-ray hinted at the cause of the problem, but a CT Scan at Children's Mercy Kansas City confirmed the culprit - craniosynostosis.

In the Best Hands

After meeting with Usiakimi Igbaseimokumo, MD, Children's Mercy neurosurgeon, Stacy and Nick Poell fully grasped the nature of their son's condition. The ridge they initially felt on Lucas' head resulted from plates in his tiny skull fusing together too soon. His rapidly developing brain was taking the growth path of least resistance - causing the right side of his head to protrude significantly.

Because Lucas was diagnosed early, he was eligible for a minimally invasive procedure to correct the problem, rather than undergoing a more invasive surgery at an older age.

Good as New

Stacy and Nick were relieved as they watched Lucas recover from the surgery. The procedure was a success, and they were encouraged by early signs that everything was returning to normal.

"Even the day after surgery, we could already see a difference," Stacy said. "We knew it was successful."

Lucas' continued recovery was aided by a special molding helmet - a device all craniosynostosis patients wear for approximately 12 months following surgery. The helmet ensured Lucas' skull would heal and develop fully and naturally. Stacy and Nick could now enjoy watching Lucas develop and achieve all of his infant milestones right on pace.

Sweet Relief

In January 2013, the Poell family celebrated the completion of Lucas' recovery as he was given the green light to remove his helmet for good. The occasion called for a party complete with family, friends, food, games and - of course - cake. But not just any cake. Lucas got to sink his teeth, hands and face into a custom delicacy baked in the likeness of the helmet he would no longer have to wear. Happily smashing it to oblivion, he could now literally savor the taste of freedom. A sweet reward for the entire family.

"The treatment was very successful," Stacy said. "He just enjoys life. I'm very happy with the choice we made - now everything is perfect."

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