Search Encyclopedia:    
List of Topics Print This Page
 

Caput succedaneum


Definition:

Caput succedaneum is swelling of the scalp in a newborn. It is most often brought on by pressure from the uterus or vaginal wall during a head-first (vertex) delivery.

Alternative Names:

Caput

Symptoms:

Symptoms may include:

  • Soft, puffy swelling on the scalp of a newborn infant
  • Possible bruising or color change on the scalp swelling area
  • Swelling that may extend to both sides of the scalp
  • Swelling that is most often seen on the portion of the head which presented first
Exams and Tests:

The health care provider will look at the swelling to confirm that it is a caput succedaneum. No other testing is needed.

Treatment:

No treatment is needed. The problem most often goes away on its own within a few days.

Outlook (Prognosis):

Complete recovery can be expected. The scalp will go back to a normal shape.

Possible Complications:

Complications may include a yellow color to the skin (jaundice) if bruising is involved.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Most of the time, the problem is noticed right after birth. You do not need to call your provider unless you have other questions.

References:

Mangurten HH, Puppala BI, Prazad PA. Birth injuries. In: Martin RJ, Fanaroff AA, eds. Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 30.


Review Date: 4/27/2015
Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

   View History
  Caput succedaneum

Related Links
Request an Appointment Online or call
1-800-789-PENN (7366)
Bilirubin blood test
Cervix
Swelling
   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2016, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania