Conditions + Treatments

Plagiocephaly in Children | Overview

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What is plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly (sometimes called deformational plagiocephaly or positional plagiocephaly) is a very common, very treatable disorder. It causes a baby’s head or face to have a flattened appearance.

Plagiocephaly develops when an infant’s soft skull becomes flattened in one area, due to repeated pressure on one part of the head. Many babies develop plagiocephaly by sleeping regularly in one position, or by sitting in the same position in a car seat or swing. This condition occurs more often in premature infants whose skulls are especially pliable.

Treatment for plagiocephaly usually includes special exercises, varying sleep position, or wearing corrective headbands or molding cups.

Plagiocephaly is different from craniosynostosis. This condition can also cause a misshapen head, but involves more serious malformations of the skull bones and often requires surgery.

Care for plagiocephaly

Here at Boston Children’s Hospital, we have a long history of treating plagiocephaly and other types of brain and skull malformations that affect children. Experts in our Departments of Neurosurgery and Plastic Surgery work together to diagnose and treat children with plagiocephaly and other craniofacial anomalies. We are even able to diagnose some of these problems while babies are still in the womb.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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