Most patients come to the Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center through a referral from their pediatrician. Parents can also reach out directly to us . Once we receive your child’s information, our team will review all medical notes and imaging tests. Our dedicated nurse coordinator will schedule a visit with our co-surgeon clinic where you can meet with our plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon at the same time.
If we need additional tests or images, our nurse coordinator will work with you to schedule those as well.
Diagnosis and Evaluation
During the evaluation at our co-surgeon clinic, we’ll take time to examine your child and listen to your questions or concerns. We’ll also talk through your 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. Our nurse coordinator will also 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, our nurse coordinator may also schedule appointments with different specialists at Cincinnati Children’s. These specialists can include:
- Ophthalmologists and neuro-ophthalmologists
- Neuro-psychologists or behavioral health experts
- Aerodigestive experts
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors
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 try to 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. If your child is undergoing open surgery (surgeries that are not endoscopic), we’ll use this imaging as part of our virtual surgical planning (VSP). VSP allows us to find the best surgical option for your child and better prepare for surgery. Ultimately, this reduces surgery time and improves your child’s overall 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, 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.
Veronika Elsaesser, RN, BSN, CPN
Craniosynostosis and Cranial Reconstruction Center
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.