In preparing for the fetal surgery, your doctor may order imaging exam and diagnostic tests such as Ultrasound, Chorionic villus sampling or CVS, Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) testing and Amniocentesis.
Once a congenital abnormality has been diagnosed, your doctor will assess the condition to evaluate if the fetus is a candidate for fetal surgery.
Mostly the most severe conditions that are certain to cause significant disability or fetal death are treated with fetal surgery.
In preparation for surgery, betamethasone – which is a steroid – will be given to speed up the lungs of the fetus.
The doctor will conduct a physical examination and will monitor the uterine contractions and fetal heart rate.
The mother will be instructed not to eat and drink after midnight the day of the surgery and she may undergo some blood tests to match it in case there is a need for blood transfusion.
5 What to Expect
Here you can find out what to expect from your fetal surgery.
Fetal surgery is done by making an incision through the abdomen and the uterus is partially removed from the body.
The amniotic fluid will be drained from the uterus and will be kept in a warmer for replacement after the surgery is done.
A hysterotomy will be done and an instrument called uterine stapler will be used to make an incision and at the same time placing staples around the perimeter of the incision to minimize the bleeding in the uterus.
Your surgeon will then perform surgery on the fetus through the opening in the uterus to locate the abnormality and remove it.
This surgery is used for myelomeningocele to close the exposed spine, CCAM to remove the cystic mass and SCT to remove the tumor.
Delivery for this fetus and all subsequent children will have to be performed by cesarean section because of the nature of the fetal surgery.
6 Procedure Results
The results of fetal surgery will depend on the reason for the procedures.
Successful results of fetal surgery generally include stopping the progression of the congenital malformation or reversing potential complications that will arise without intervention.
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