Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Surgery in The Womb: Fighting Spina Bifida

Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have just released the findings of a major study looking at performing surgery in the womb to help prevent many of the devastating effects of spina bifida. Spina bifida is the most common birth defect of the central nervous system. One of the major problems is the result of what is called a myelomeningocele. This is a problem that occurs one part of the spinal column does not close around spinal cord. Babies born with this have lifelong disabilities including paralysis, bladder and bowel problems and excessive fluid pressure in the brain. The physicians from the Children's Hospital as well as those from Vanderbilt and the University of California in San Francisco performed fetal surgery. During the procedure surgeons covered the myelomeningocele with multiple layers of the fetus' own tissue. In most cases the surgery was done between 19 and 26 weeks gestation. The surgical team made incisions in the mother and her uterus and repair the spina bifida lesion while the fetus was in the womb. The results of the study are promising after 30 months children had better scores in measurements of motor function. Those with the surgery were twice as likely to walk without crutches of those who did not have the surgery obviously more work needs to be done in the surgery was not without risk fetal surgery raises the risk of premature birth and starring in the mother's uterus

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your valuable post.

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