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Caput succedaneum

Caput succedaneum

Overview

Swelling and bruising usually occur on the top of the scalp where the head first enters the cervix during birth. This area is called a caput succedaneum and feels like a soft, spongy mass. This infant has a large caput on the right side of the scalp.

Review Date 5/14/2017

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.