Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center
What to Expect

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center

At Cincinnati Children’s, we understand that craniosynostosis surgery can feel overwhelming or scary for your family. The Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center is led by neurosurgery and plastic surgery experts who are dedicated to compassionate and coordinated care, so you never feel like you’re facing this alone.

From the moment your child is referred, you’ll be guided by a personal nurse coordinator who will be with you through every decision and phase of treatment. Your coordinator also will work with you to get every appointment, surgery and test scheduled. They’ll gather medical records and make sure the center has all the information it needs before the surgery. You’ll never have to do that on your own.

Making an Appointment at the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center

Most patients come to the center through a referral from their pediatrician. Parents also can reach out directly and schedule an appointment online.

We understand that there may be time sensitivity around your child’s treatment, but we won’t rush decisions. Our team will take careful steps to make sure we have a precise diagnosis and the right plan for your child. If our surgeons decide that your child needs surgery as soon as possible, we’ll get the surgery scheduled right away.

Before Your Visit to the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center

Once we receive your child’s information, our team will review all medical notes and imaging tests. Your nurse coordinator will schedule your visit with our co-surgeon clinic, allowing you to meet with our plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon at the same time.

If we need other tests or images, your nurse coordinator will work with you to schedule those as well.

On the Day of Your Visit to the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center

Arriving at Your Appointment

The Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center is located at Cincinnati Children’s Burnet Campus:

3333 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to find parking, walk to the center and register your child for their appointment.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

During the evaluation at our co-surgeon clinic, we’ll examine your child and listen to your questions or concerns. We’ll also talk through your child’s diagnosis in detail and discuss potential treatment options.

In most cases, you’ll leave this appointment with a detailed treatment plan and what to expect for follow-up care and recovery. Your nurse coordinator will make sure all your child’s surgery appointments are scheduled, including pre-surgery blood tests and imaging.

Depending on your child’s age, symptoms and needs, your nurse coordinator also may schedule appointments with different specialists at Cincinnati Children’s, including:

  • Neurologists
  • Ophthalmologists and neuro-ophthalmologists
  • Neuropsychologists or behavioral health experts
  • Audiologists
  • Geneticists
  • Aerodigestive experts
  • Ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors

Treatment Planning

In some cases, we may have your child undergo more imaging tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, head ultrasound or 3D laser scan. When possible, we’ll avoid using tests that will expose your child to excess radiation.

We use detailed 3D imaging to confirm a diagnosis and help us plan the best treatment path, which is especially important for open (non-endoscopic) surgery.

After Your Visit to the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center

Your nurse coordinator will continue to work with you to schedule any necessary follow-up appointments at our center and with other specialists, as well as ensure your child’s recovery is going smoothly. They’ll be available to answer any questions you may have during your child’s recovery.

Meet Our Nurse Coordinator

At Cincinnati Children’s, we understand that craniosynostosis surgery can feel overwhelming or scary for your family. With that in mind, our dedicated nurse coordinator, Veronika Elsaesser, RN, BSN, CPN, provides you with personal support throughout the treatment process. Veronika is also a surgical nurse in the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center. Hear from Veronika below about questions commonly asked by parents.

How do you help families?

From the moment your child is referred to our center to your last follow-up appointment, I will be your point of contact. Whenever you come into our clinic, I’ll always be there to greet you. I’ll also work with you to get every appointment, surgery and test scheduled. You’ll never have to do that on your own.

After you’re referred to the center, I’ll work with you to get your child’s medical records together. I’ll make sure we have all the information we need before scheduling you for our co-surgeon clinic.

Most importantly, you won’t be alone in this journey. I’m here to listen and answer any questions you have along the way. Having your baby undergo surgery can be stressful and scary, so I’ll do everything I can to make you feel safe and comfortable.

Do you work with the surgeons?

As a surgical nurse, I work closely with our neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons. I collaborate with them on diagnosis and surgery planning to make sure I fully understand every patient’s treatment plan. With this first-hand knowledge, I can be your go-to resource if you have questions or concerns.

I’ll also stay by your child’s side throughout treatment, and for all follow-up care.

I’ve been told my child needs surgery before a certain age. Can you help?

We understand that there may be time sensitivity around your child’s treatment, but we won’t rush decisions. Our team will take careful steps to make sure we have a precise diagnosis and the right plan for your child. If our surgeons decide that your child needs surgery as soon as possible, we get the surgery scheduled right away.