Boy with Craniosynostosis Faces Third Surgery

Branson Figueroa is four years old – and he’s tough. He has to be; after being born with craniosynostosis, Branson has had to undergo skull reconstruction surgeries twice already. According to WCVB, Branson’s first reconstruction surgery took place in 2019. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful. Branson’s second surgery took place in 2020. But he and the family have faced setbacks. In particular, his sutures in his skull have continued to fuse back together. 

Because of this, Branson is now facing his third surgery. His family was told that he would need to be closely monitored until he turned 18. In the family’s GoFundMe, Branson’s mom Heather explains:

“He started having headaches again especially upon waking, which brought concerns and [caused us] to seek his surgeons immediately. He recently had a sedated MRI done that showed the pressure increasing, and his skull needs to be enlarged again.” 

Right now, Branson’s insurance will not cover this procedure as it is considered to be out-of-pocket. The surgery will occur before Branson’s 5th birthday. His family hopes that people will contribute to this worthwhile cause. In fact, Heather promised that Branson could shave her head if the GoFundMe reached $50K. Well, with the fundraiser sitting at just about $51K right now, Heather has already started posting photos of her shaved head!

If you would like to contribute to Branson’s surgery and expenses, you may donate here

What is Craniosynostosis? 

Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which one of more of the sutures (fibrous joints) between a baby’s skull bones close prematurely and before being fully formed. Early suture fusion can give the head a misshapen appearance, restrict skull growth, and increase intracranial pressure. 

There are different types of craniosynostosis. The sagittal form is the most common; it occurs when the sagittal suture that runs from the front to the back of the top of the skull closely prematurely. Next is coronal, in which one of the coronal sutures that run from the ear to the top of the skull fuses early. This may cause a turned nose, a flattened forehead, and an elevated eye socket on the affected side. Then there is metopic, which affects the top of the nasal bridge through the midline of the forehead to the anterior fontanel. This form may cause a triangular forehead appearance and widened back of the head. Finally, in the rare lambdoid form, the lambdoid suture (across the skull at the back of the head) fuses prematurely, causing one ear higher than the other, a tilted top of the head, and a flattened appearance on one side. 

Doctors and researchers are unsure of the exact cause of craniosynostosis. In some cases, it is idiopathic (of unknown cause) and in others, genetics may play a role. Symptoms of craniosynostosis can include:

  • Slow or no head growth despite infant growth
  • A misshapen skull or the development of a hard, raised ridge along affected sutures
  • Increased irritability
  • Extremely noticeable scalp veins
  • Developmental delays
  • A disappearing fontanel or full/bulging fontanel
  • Poor feeding
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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