Treatment & Care
What sort of treatment will my child receive?
Currently, the only effective treatment for encephaloceles is surgery, which is generally performed while your child is an infant.
- The extent to which the problem can be corrected depends on the location and size of the encephaloceles; usually, large protrusions can be removed without causing major disability.
What the surgery does
Surgery moves the bulging area back into the skull, removes the protrusions, and corrects the deformities, typically relieving pressure that can delay normal brain development.
Occasionally, shunts are placed to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain.
Your child's doctor's goals of treatment include:
- closing of open skin defects to prevent infection and dryness of brain tissue
- removing of nonfunctional cerebral tissue outside the brain
- doing a total craniofacial reconstruction with particular emphasis on avoiding the common long-nose deformity; without proper management, the long-nose deformity can be more obvious after repair.
What's my child's long-term outlook?
Your child's recovery is difficult to predict prior to surgery, and depends on the type of brain tissue involved and location of the encephaloceles.
- If his surgery is successful, and developmental delays have not occurred, your child can develop normally.
Where neurologic and developmental damage has occurred, the specialists will focus on minimizing both mental and physical disabilities.
- In general, when the bulging material consists of primarily cerebrospinal fluid, a complete recovery can occur. When a large amount of brain tissue is present in the encephaloceles, there is a higher chance of complications during surgery.