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Anesthesiol Clin North America. 2002 Mar;20(1):211-26.

Anesthesia for fetal surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA.


Fetal surgery is the antenatal treatment of fetal malformations that cannot be adequately corrected after birth. Anesthesia for fetal surgery involves two patients, and issues of maternal safety, avoidance of fetal asphyxia, adequate fetal anesthesia and monitoring, and uterine relaxation are important. Communication with the surgeon to determine the surgical approach and need for uterine relaxation allows the anesthesiologist the ability to vary the anesthetic technique. Lessons learned from fetal surgery may help other neonates with life-threatening anomalies and may help understand the complex issues related to preterm labor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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