Skull deformity that doesn't allow the brain to grow properly

Doctors work to correct deformity

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PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – When their first baby Ellis was born last year, Abi and Peter Obre  didn't notice the slight ridge on the front of his skull.

"We were absolutely oblivious like many new parents are, their baby is perfect but looking back it was obvious from the day he was born we just weren't aware of it," Abi Obre said.

 At the urging of a friend they went to their pediatrician, who referred them to a specialist.

 That's when Ellis was diagnosed with a rare condition called metopic craniosynostosis, where the bones in the skull fuse together.

 "I received the call about it and it was the worst phone call of my life it's really scary you don't know what's to come you don't know what's to happen," Abi Obre said.

 In February, Ellis underwent a  procedure at Nicklaus Children's Hospital to correct the condition.

 "The way the operation is done we make an incision we find the bones that are fused and we release the bones that are fused," pediatric plastic surgeon. Dr. Chad Perlyn said.

He added that it's not as simple as it sounds.

"We literally take the eye sockets and forehead and part of the skull off and put it all back together with plates and screws like a carpenter would with a piece of furniture," Perlyn said.

Within three days of surgery Ellis was sitting up in bed laughing.

The six-hour procedure left him with 67 stitches. But the scar is the only reminder of what he went through.

"People told us you'll be surprised how resilient they are," Abi Obre said. "We are in awe of him."

Ideally the surgery should be performed around the first year of life, before the brain begins to outgrow the skull.

 Interestingly enough,  the plates and screws used to reshape his skull will, like a hard candy, just dissolve over time.  

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