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J Intensive Care Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;23(1):33-51. doi: 10.1177/0885066607310240.

Fetal surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Fetal surgery has emerged from the realm of medical curiosity into an exciting, multidisciplinary specialty now capable of improving patient outcomes for a wide variety of diseases. Recent advances allow prenatal providers to both accurately diagnose and treat many fetal anomalies while maintaining maternal safety. As the initial postnatal health care providers to the majority of these newborns, neonatologists need to be familiar with some of the more recent state-of-the-art procedures currently being used. In this review, the authors discuss the prenatal evaluation process and various operative approaches (ie, open hysterotomy, fetoscopy, and percutaneous) to conduct fetal surgery. They then analyze the effectiveness of some of the more established and experimental prenatal therapies that are being performed for a number of fetal anomalies, including twin-twin transfusion syndrome, thoracic malformations, airway obstruction, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, myelomeningocele, and aortic valve stenosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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