Prenatal Surgery May Benefit Babies With Spina Bifida

New surgery may be used to treat spina bifida in the womb

Doctors may have found a way to help babies with spina bifida walk and lessen neurological problems. The procedure involves operating on the fetus while still in the womb.

Surgeons have been trying to come across ways to operate on babies while still in the womb. This procedure, while viewed by some as a good way to fix medical abnormalities, carries a huge risk.

The same idea goes into operating on babies afflicted by spina bifida prenatally.

Tests performed by researchers on this subject have noted that babies who were operated on prenatally had lesser neurological problems and were able to walk. Their conditions were significantly better than those who had the operation post-natal.

Even though this was the case, the risks of performing this delicate procedure were also heavy. The study showed that those whose babies underwent the procedure, had an increased chance of premature birth with related lung problems. As for the pregnant mothers, the surgical incisions often created problems, forcing a Caesarean section when giving birth.

Currently, experts still want to perform clinical tests, which would find out if prenatal surgery was better than post natal surgery in fixing spina bifida.

Nevertheless, the researchers would still monitor the successful patients who had gone through the prenatal surgery until they reached ages 6-9 to see whether additional health benefits were noticed.