Protecting Little Brains at North Central Baptist Hospital

Dec 12, 2021
An innovative program at North Central Baptist Hospital is helping babies born with a condition called Craniosynestosis, which can cause serious craniofacial deformities, learning and developmental delays. 

A baby’s brain triples in size in first three years, so the skull must be able to expand. This growth is accommodated thanks to thin plates in the brain that are joined with seams called sutures. The seams stretch and when the brain stops growing, the sutures close. In some newborns, the seams close too early so the baby’s brain cannot expand. 

To correct the problem, surgery is necessary. Traditionally the baby’s skull is removed and put back together with screws and wires. Babies suffer 100-percent blood loss, are in the ICU for two or three days on a ventilator and are in the hospital for four to five days. As they grow they may look abnormal with bumps and lumps on their skulls. Sixty-percent of these children will have developmental delays and learning issues. 

A far less invasive procedure is now available at North Central Baptist Hospital. “Patients come to San Antonio from all over the world to have this procedure done,” says Bill Waechter, CEO of North Central Baptist Hospital. “The surgery is performed by pediatric neurosurgeon David Jimenez, MD, who invented the procedure.” 

“The procedure only takes 30 minutes to an hour, and the babies are only in the hospital overnight.” says Jimenez. “They wear a special helmet for a few months and have none of the residual issues caused by the traditional corrective approach.” 

For more information, please call (866) 309-2873

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