Fetal Surgery at Ochsner Baptist: What You Can Expect
The fetal surgery team at Ochsner is comprised of over 20 members who are specialized in areas such as Pediatric Neurosurgery, Obstetric Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and ICU. Unlike most teams, we also have a plastic surgeon onboard at this stage. You’ll have peace of mind knowing mother and baby are being cared for by the best team in the region.
After a thorough evaluation including an ultrasound, MRI and fetal echocardiogram, you will meet with members our team to review your test results, confirm the diagnosis, explain treatment options and potential outcomes and answer all of your questions. Our team will work with your family to help you fully understand the benefits and risks involved so you can make the best decisions for your unique situation.
If you are a candidate, then between 22 and 26 weeks pregnant, we’ll perform the surgery on you and your fetus, which will be very much like a cesarean section. A surgeon will make an incision into your abdomen and uterus, large enough for access to the spinal defect, allowing the pediatric neurosurgeon to repair the defect. After the surgery is complete, your incision will be closed, and you’ll be given medications for pain and to keep you from laboring. You will be observed closely after your surgery in the hospital for about 5-7 days ensuring no evidence of preterm labor and that your baby is doing well. You’ll get to go home after recovery but your daily activity will be strictly limited. Our team will keep a close eye on your baby with weekly follow-up appointments and ultrasounds. Then, at 37 weeks, you’ll deliver your baby by C-section. This will protect the scar you have on your uterus from the fetal intervention.