Once you have decided that Endoscopic Strip Craniectomy is the surgery option for your baby and that you wish LOC to carry out your cranial remoulding aftercare, the treatment plan begins with an appointment prior to the date of surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
At this appointment we will if possible, take a pre-surgery scan and it will give us an opportunity to meet, take a history and for any questions you have about cranial remoulding to be answered.
We would like you to contact us post-surgery to inform us of how it has gone. Then after a week of healing, if the healing is going well, a scan is taken, so that your baby’s bespoke Cranioband can be manufactured. The scan appointment will be about 90 minutes long. At the scan appointment, we will also measure your baby’s head shape to provide an objective pre-treatment measurement of asymmetry.
The Cranioband will be fitted a week after the scan and the appointment will take 90-120 minutes. At this appointment your baby will try the band on for the first time and any necessary adjustments will be made. By the end of the appointment the band will be fitting well and we will have talked through its wear and care guide.
One week later you will attend for a first review, at which we will check that all is going well, monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. After this, there will be 1-2 one-week reviews and then 2 weekly reviews progressing to 3-4 weekly reviews, as your baby’s rate of growth slows.
The Cranioband is made from a slightly flexible plastic and will have strategically placed pads inside. This band is more directing of growth and is limited in the space added specifically for this reason. It is easier to clean due to the reduced padding inside which is important in the early stages post-surgery. It is expected that the first Cranioband will last for 6-8 weeks, depending on your baby’s age and rate of growth.
A second Cranioband may be required depending on your baby’s age and head shape. If this is the case your clinician will be able to inform you of this, as your baby progresses in the first band. The second Cranioband may last 8-12 weeks.
Following the first or second Cranioband, depending on your baby’s requirements, they will progress to a LOCband; one or two may be required depending on the age of the baby and its particular head shape. The LOCband has a different construction with a rigid outer shell and a firm foam lining; it has greater longevity due to its lining as it can be adjusted as your baby grows. The LOCband may last 4-8 months in younger babies and longer in older ones.
The recommendation from Great Ormond Street Hospital is that babies stay in treatment up until 2 years of age.
The LOCband has been designed and perfected after years of experience in treating positional plagiocephaly.
It is manufactured bespoke for each baby to exact clinical specifications.
The manufacturing process is overseen by the clinician to ensure the best possible fit and comfort for your baby.
The LOCband Lite has been designed to be lightweight and cooler thanks to modern 3D printing techniques.
It is also made bespoke for each baby to exact clinical specifications.
It has proven results with patients and dramatically reduces weight by 40%, increasing comfort for your baby.
If your baby has a ‘flat head’ within a certain part of the skull, the first option is to try repositioning.
The objective is to reposition your baby’s head, avoiding the existing flattened area.
Until four-five months of age, repositioning & tummy time techniques can encourage natural correction.
Right from the beginning, we got the answers that we were looking for and left the clinic knowing what we were going to do. Everything just felt really simple every time we went for an appointment. I would definitely recommend LOC to other parents, and if anyone is in doubt about whether they should go for treatment, I’d say take advantage of the free consultation, because it was so worth it to go and get confirmation. I’m so happy I did it.
When we visited LOC there was no sales pitch or pressure – just honest, helpful advice and support. We’re very happy with the service we received from LOC and, most of all, we are delighted with the results!
At the start of the treatment, Saeed told us that we could expect the cephalic ratio to reduce by nine or ten points at most. In fact, it has reduced by 109 to 94. That’s a reduction of 15 points which is more than any of us hoped for. And his asymmetry has reduced from 10mm to just 1mm. We were so happy with the results that we felt it was a natural breakpoint for him and we were advised that the treatment is less effective the older a child is.
To say we are delighted with the service and results of the treatment would be an understatement! We felt cared for every step of the way, with regular check-ups meaning we were always aware of our twins’ development. Thank you so much to Sally at LOC, you are a star and have made a real difference to the future well-being of our boys!
We would be very happy for Francis to be included on the case histories page of your website. We are so pleased with the outcome of his treatment - I can only hope the images will give other parents confidence in the treatment where needed.
Thank you again for taking care of Amrit's flat head. We are very pleased with the results. Attached are some pics of our visits to the clinic which we thought you may want to keep and use to show others the painless process for the baby.
Ewan was four months old and I could breastfeed while he was wearing the helmet. At the clinic, they took their time with him. It made a huge difference knowing that we could trust them.
Ewen is now a confident and happy child, and the helmet therapy was definitely the right decision for us. I would (and have) recommended LOC to anyone, the clinic was friendly and reassuring.
From the very start, everyone at LOC was professional and friendly. Every step of the way was well-explained and measuring and fitting was quick. It only took Magnus one day to get used to the band and after that, he wasn’t bothered by it at all. And, most importantly, it worked! His head now looks completely normal. I would 100% get a LOCband again if we were to face the same situation again.
Victor the Robot, our new computer numerical control milling machine in action! Victor is noisy, but he’s transforming our ability to design and manufacture orthotic devices at our Kingston-upon-Thames clinic.
Manufactured by Rodin4D, Victor is capable of milling complex ergonomic shapes, meaning that we can now potentially assess a spinal orthotic patient, manufacture the orthosis and have it fitted, all in the space of a day. Victor can do everything we need to do for our patients, in-house and in the shortest time possible with no compromise on quality.
This is very much dependent on how fast your baby is growing. The faster the growth, the more frequently your baby will be seen so that the helmet can be adjusted. In general, reviews will happen at two to four-week intervals.
The price of treatment covers:
Yes - All babies that have completed their course of treatment with us have achieved a measurable improvement in head shape. However, you don’t have to take our word for it.
Recent independent research conducted by a University Hospital in Germany has endorsed the treatment for babies with moderate or severe plagiocephaly.
A larger, retrospective study has just been published that found complete correction was achieved in 94.4% of babies treated with helmet therapy.
The results were conclusive: repositioning achieved acceptable correction in 77.1% of cases, but 15.8% were moved onto helmet therapy because re-positioning was not working. Meanwhile, 94.4% of the infants who started in the helmet-treated group achieved full correction, as did 96.1% of those who were transferred from the repositioning group into the helmet-treated group.
Further information can be found on our Plagiocephaly Research page.
If your baby has a temperature or a fever due to illness you must remove the band. The band can be put back on once the temperature has returned to normal.
The optimum age for treatment is between four and seven months.
This is because the skull is most malleable at this age and improvements to head shape tend to take less time and are more dramatic. That is not to say that helmet therapy should be ruled out if the baby is older than seven months. Routinely, babies up to the age of 16 months can be treated very successfully.
The cut off age is around 18 months when the fontanelles (soft spots on the head) are no longer malleable. As babies grow and develop at different rates, it is always worth checking if you are not sure. There have been cases where a baby’s fontanelles have not fused yet by the age of 18 months, who have achieved successful, but less-marked results with cranial remoulding therapy.
Torticollis is a condition in which a tight or shortened muscle in one side of the neck causes the head to tilt or turn to one side, resulting in the infant resting its head in the same position. In 2013, we analysed the data from all first appointments in our Kingston clinic and found that 20% of the babies examined had some kind of neck condition that was causing head immobility.
The clinics and clinicians that provide this treatment in the UK will have received similar training and experience. However, we are the only clinic that manufactures its own helmet and our clinicians are closely involved with the process for each individual helmet that we produce.
In addition, we do not restrict review appointments to a set number, we are extremely flexible and respond to individual parents' needs so that the best outcome can be achieved for each baby.
The LOCband is non-invasive and works by applying gentle, constant pressure over the areas of the baby’s skull that are most prominent while allowing unrestricted growth over the flattened areas. The band consists of a soft foam layer inside a thermoplastic shell. As the baby grows, the band will be adjusted frequently to gently guide the skull into a more symmetrical shape.
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Baby Ada’s severe brachycephaly improves thanks to LOC’s cranial remoulding helmet therapy.