NEW YORK - A set of triplet baby boys have made medical history, after having undergone the first ever corrective head surgery for craniosynostosis on triplets.
Craniosynostosis, a rare congenital condition which happens to one in 2500 babies, is a birth defect causing premature fusion of plates in a baby's skull. According to CBS New York, the condition is even rarer in triplets - one in 500 trillion chance - which made Hunter, Jackson and Kaden Howard the first set of triplets born with the skull condition.
The adorable six-month-old babies were born last October to Amy and Michael Howard in Stony Brook Hospital. Noticing the deformity in the shape of their newborns' heads, the couple thought "it was a normal kind of thing".
"I wasn't sure if, it being three of them, they were just squashed or something." the first-time mother told Daily Mail Online.
To their surprise, the doctor immediately identified the condition and informed them that the babies would require corrective surgery. Hunter and Jackson Howard are identical twins diagnosed with sagittal synotosis, a common form of craniosynostosis resulting in a protrusion at the back of the skull. Kaden Howard was diagnosed with metopic synotosis, which gave him a triangularly-shaped skull and a pointy forehead.
At 11 weeks old, the triplets underwent endoscopic surgery individually over a course of 2 days. The procedure involved 2 incisions on the skull to release a prematurely closed suture (a junction between 2 bones in the skull).
According to Dr. David Chesler, the pediatric neurosurgeon who performed the procedures on the triplets, the fusion of the bones in the skull could be "detrimental to the brain, the vision and the life of the child" if left untouched.
The surgeries were successful and the three bubbly babies were discharged from Stony Brook Children's Hospital in two days. They however have to wear custom-made orthotic helmets to help guide and mold the shape of their skulls, 23 hours a day for the next 6 to 9 months. They would also return to the hospital for check-ups twice a year until they are about 6 years old, Dr David Chesler told Daily Mail Online.
So far, the Howard triplets have hit all their developmental milestones. For the parents, however, there is some getting used to do at home with the addition of the triplets into the family, on top of 2 cats.
"It's a little chaotic," Michael said, "but it's awesome. I wouldn't change it for the world."