So far, British mothers have to choose between traveling abroad to complete this operation or wait for their children to…
So far, British mothers have to choose between traveling abroad to complete this operation or wait for their children to be born.
The 30-strong team ended with two operations this summer by researchers from University College London (UCL), clinics from UCL Hospital, UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and University Hospital Leuven in Belgium,
Treatment for Spina bifida – a problem with spinal cord development that leaves a gap or split in the spine – before birth gives the children a better chance of life than postoperative surgery, according to the team, as children born with spina bifida are often unable to go and may need a variety of other activities Later in life, such as shunt placement (surgery to drain fluid from the brain).
Spina bifida can be caused by low intake of folic acid and some medicines taken by women
“In spina bifida.” Six in every 10,000 British births are affected by spina bifida. , the spinal canal does no T completely closes the uterus and leaves the spinal cord exposed from an early stage during pregnancy. This leads to brain changes, as well as severe permanent damage to the nerves on the lower part of the body, says lead neurosurgeon Dr. Dominic Thompson of GOSH.
Closure of spina bifida while a baby is still in the uterus “has been shown to improve care in the short and medium term,” added leading fetus neurosurgeon Dr. Jan Deprest from UCLH. “While no surgery is curative, the fetal surgery is stopped earlier, preventing spinal cord injury in the last third of pregnancy.”
This operation involves making an incision slightly larger than one made under a caesarean section, opens the womb  to expose the spine and close the defect and then repair the uterus to leave the baby inside.
Babies are then delivered by C-section after approximately 37 weeks.
The operation has been performed more than 40 times in Belgium, where the British team trained, with some patients like English women, since 2012. It was pioneering in the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital of Dr. N. Scott Adzicks team. The US hospital has completed over 320 such procedures since 2011.
The treatment has been offered only now for the first time in the UK largely due to the “number of procedural and ethical and educational issues that must be in place” for the fetus operation, told Thompson for CNN. The delay reflects the amount of training and infrastructure required for the operation to take place safely, according to the surgeon.
Another factor that reduced the introduction is the nature of this operation, which concerns two patients, the child and the mother and may therefore pose a risk to the mother.
The British team has been working for three years to get the fetus’s surgery to Britain. Professor Anna David at UCL Hospital stated that the decision to conduct the UK procedure was based on a major US-based trial that showed that prenatal surgery to correct spina bifida was associated with a 50% reduction in the need for surgical shunt placement in newborn children and improvement of the engine function at 30 months of age.
“The reduction of the need for shunts is particularly important,” says Professor Paolo De Coppi of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health. “As a long-term follow-up of children who have undergone prenatal closure of the uterus, it suggests brain function, mobility and total independence were higher in non-shunted than shunted children aged 5 years. “
Not all children with the state grant from the fetus repair, which doctors take into account. Thompson explained that as with all operations, the benefits and risks must be taken into account. Some of the risks associated with this surgery are injuries to the uterus or uterus, premature births and infections.
“Not all [cases] are appropriate, we choose those where the benefit is greatest and the risk can be motivated,” he said. Cases like mothers carrying more than one child are not suitable for surgery; Children who have other congenital abnormalities or further malformations will also not be approved for the fetus’s operation.
About eight children are born with the state every day in the United States according to the American Spina Bifida Association.
“The problem with Spina bifida is that children are born with a number of disabilities,” said Thompson. However, “by doing the surgery before the child is born some of the problems with spina bifida – it seems we can turn them around.”
CNN’s Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.