Doctors Provide Crainiosynostosis Treatments In Hawaii

Dr. Barbara Jonnebier
Dr. Barbara Jonnebier

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Infantile facial deformities are rare, but doctors right here in Hawaii offer reconstructive surgery without a costly trip to the mainland.

One of the leading cranial facial specialists in Hawaii says there's a big misconception about Crainiosynostosis. It's a congenital condition that disfigures a newborn's skull.

Dr. Barbara Jonnebier is a cranial facial specialist. She has been practicing in Hawaii for the past three years.

"These children for the majority of cases are otherwise nerologicaly completely normal, have a very bright future, but they look funny. So when you look funny, people will treat you funny. So it's a great joy to be able to help them with their appearance," she said.

Here in Hawaii she sees about five to ten cases a year, and because the condition is considered a birth defect, the reconstructive surgery is covered by insurance.

"This is usually evident at birth and since the treatment is much more effective at a young age, these cases are usually treated before nine months of age," Jonnebier said.

She says although doctors don't know exactly why it happens, parents should pay close attention to the soft spot on the top of a newborns head.

"Within the first three months of life that is something that the pediatrician and the parents should watch," she said.