Melissa has known Fernando Burstein, M.D., for nearly her entire life. Born with craniosynostosis, a congenital disorder caused by the improper fusing of the skull’s plates, Melissa was referred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she first met Dr. Burstein. When the cranial sutures the fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones of the skull fail to fuse correctly, the result can be a misshapen skull or even neurological side. Often, surgery is needed to correct this condition.
Melissa underwent her first reconstructive surgery when she was just a baby. Because of the neurological impact this condition can have, the procedure is typically performed on infants before they reach their first year of age, so that the brain can have a chance to develop normally. Dr. Burstein frequently works closely with a pediatric neurosurgeon, as he did in Melissa’s case, in order to help ensure that there are no neurological side effects.