Photos and Text Source: Hellenic Craniofacial Center (HCC). HCC was founded by the late Dr. Alexander Stratoudakis and is directed by Dr. Costas Alexandrou, Craniofacial Surgeon, Member of the Cyprus Center for Clefts and Facial Deformities, MEDICLEFT.

Positional Plagiocephaly (PP)

Occipital plagiocephaly is characterised by asymmetry and widening of the posterior portion of the head (parieto-occipital area).


22-positional-plagiocephalyPositional Plagiocephaly (PP) refers to the cause of the plagiocephaly, which is the external (pre-or postnatal) pressure on the bones of the skull. This means that is attributed to mechanical causes such as:

Deformation of the skull in the matrix (with a high frequency in twin pregnancies).

Overstaying of the newborn’s head in one position.


The treatment of positional plagiocephaly, except in the most severe forms, is conservative and consists of:

Frequent change of head position.

Positioning of the head in a specially designed concave foam pillow.

Physiotherapy by an experienced Physiotherapist.


In the severe forms of plagiocephaly, the solution is surgery in where cranioplasty  is perfomed on the rear section of the head. During the surgery the aesthetic problem of the patient is improved and simultaneously the local brain decompression is ensured which is pressed by the parietal bone.

Once the diagnosis of occipital plagiocephaly is made, parents should visit:

An expert physiotherapist who will examine and assess the baby for muscle spasm, will indicate to parents the appropriate exercises, and will take active participation in carrying out of the treatment of neonate (or baby). The physiotherapist of the MEDICLEFT TEAM, Melios Athanasiades, is at your disposal.

Specialist paediatric-ophthalmologist, in order to exclude the possibility of the existence of strabismus.

Treatment should start early, i.e. ideally during the second or third month of life because the conservative treatment in older age is less effective.

It must be emphasized that the occipital positional plagiocephaly not only affects the head and neck, but may affect the muscular balance in ohmic zone. This problem can be prevented with early physical therapy intervention.

The skull is highly “ductile” until the 4th week of life.

Efforts should be made to restore any deformation caused in the process of child’s birth as soon as possible.

If you locate any widen points to the occipital or parietal bones, talk with your pediatrician or call our TEAM at +357 25735050.

If you notice asymmetries in the active and/or passive trajectory motion of the head request physical therapy evaluation. The MEDICLEFT TEAM’s physiotherapist, Melios Athanasiadis, is at your disposal.

If abnormal shape persists after the 6th week, ask for referral to a Craniofacial TEAM.


If you have any questions or need additional information about the treatment of facial deformities, please contact  + 357 25735050 or send us an e-mail at

The TEAM of Scientists of the Cyprus Center for Clefts and Facial Deformities, MEDICLEFT, is at your disposal.




Photos and Text SourceHellenic Craniofacial Center (HCC).