Apert syndrome is a rare genetic birth disorder that causes the bones in an infant’s head, face, hands and feet to close (fuse) together abnormally. Our expert, multidisciplinary team of surgeons has extensive experience treating the full range of conditions related to Apert syndrome.
What Is Apert Syndrome?
The term Apert syndrome refers to a group of conditions that causes the bones in your baby’s skull, face, hands and feet to fuse abnormally. These conditions include:
- Syndromic craniosynostosis: Most often, babies with Apert syndrome have multiple sutures that fuse together too early. Craniosynostosis can put pressure on your child’s growing brain, possibly leading to problems with development.
- Midfacial hypoplasia: Apert Syndrome can cause the bones of the jaw, cheeks, eyes and ears to grow abnormally. This may cause issues with vision, hearing and breathing. Babies with midfacial hypoplasia are usually identified by their bulging eyes and underbite.
- Syndactyly: Some children with Apert syndrome have webbed fingers and toes. Our highly trained pediatric hand surgeons are experienced treating this condition.
When a baby is treated early, our skilled surgeons can help avoid issues with brain development and improve the baby’s appearance with safe and effective surgery.
How Is Apert Syndrome Treated?
When your baby is diagnosed with Apert syndrome, we work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
We bring together all the experts your child may need for ongoing care from specialty areas including:
- Plastic surgery
- Developmental psychology
- Speech and language therapy
- Dentistry and orthodontics
- Ear-nose-throat (ENT)
We offer two options for craniosynostosis surgery:
- Endoscopic craniosynostosis repair. This minimally invasive procedure uses a small scope and leaves only small scars. After endoscopic craniosynostosis repair, your child will need to wear a helmet for several months. We will help you make all the arrangements for this. Learn more about post-surgical helmeting.
- Open craniosynostosis repair surgery. This classic surgical approach can be performed on children of any age. It involves a larger incision plus the use of plates to hold the bones in place. Our surgeons have performed thousands of open craniosynostosis repairs over more than 35 years.
What Causes Apert Syndrome?
Apert syndrome is a genetic birth disorder. Babies born with Apert syndrome often have no family history of the disorder. Their genetic defect is random. But individuals with Apert Syndrome can also pass on the disorder to their children.
How Is Apert Syndrome Diagnosed?
Our doctors start with a physical exam of your baby’s skull and facial features. We also take a quick, painless imaging scan (X-ray or CT) to look at the bones in your infant’s skull, hands and feet to see if the bones have fused abnormally. If our doctors think Apert syndrome is a possibility, we will order a simple genetic test aid to help our diagnosis.
We know that you don’t want to be kept waiting to learn if your baby has Apert syndrome. Whenever possible, we perform tests, make a diagnosis and give you a clear treatment plan at your first appointment.
If you are concerned your baby might have Apert syndrome, please ask your pediatrician for a referral or call us for an appointment at 314.454.5437 or toll-free at 800.678.5437. We will gladly evaluate your child.