The fetal repair at Children’s Hospital Of Philadephia video details the extensive planning and the multidisciplinary team involved in the spina bifida prenatal surgery process. Participants in the surgery include several fetal surgeons, a pediatric neurosurgeon, a fetal cardiologist, an obstetrician, an anesthesiologist, surgical nurses and others. Spina bifida fetal repair at CHOP is a well-orchestrated and complex procedure that is performed with the safety of mother and unborn child as a foremost concern. Every precaution is taken to maintain the health and wellbeing of both patients during these tightly choreographed spina bifida fetal repair procedures.
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Another medical breakthrough in Houston – surgery before birth
Posted 8/2/2011 8:42 AM CDT
A couple devastated to learn that their little girl has spina bifida travels from Dallas to Houston for their baby to have the very first surgery performed in Texas before the baby is born. Intra-uterine surgeries have long been criticized because of the risk to the mother and the fetus but now, after decades of experimental trials, it is likely that these kinds of interventions will become more mainstream.
Colette had the procedure at Houston’s Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in May, then in early July gave birth to Faith, 3 pounds, 9 ounces. It’ll be a couple years before Faith’s overall outcome is clear — the surgery is not a cure – but doctors were confident last week that she’ll be able to walk instead of needing a wheelchair.
The surgery, a first in Texas for spina bifida in the womb, marks a new era. After three decades as rarely performed experimental treatment, usually when the baby was likely to die, fetal surgery has arrived as mainstream therapy for non-life-threatening conditions.
A federally funded study published earlier this year found that prenatal surgery for the most severe type of spina bifida doubled the likelihood the patient would walk unaided at 2½ and halved the chance he or she would need permanent tubes implanted after birth to remove water from the brain.
Spina bifida, in its extreme form it is called myelomeningocele, is a devastating disorder that renders babies unable to walk. Many couples choose to abort these babies once they are informed of the diagnosis. The hope is that this surgery will give babies a better chance at a normal life and decrease the desire for abortion.