Why Choose Kypros Nicolaides Fetal Medicine & Therapy Center in Abu Dhabi?

At Prof. Kypros Nicolaides Fetal Medicine & Therapy Center, we offer the latest in fetal medicine technology and techniques. Our experienced team comprising of maternal fetal medicine specialists, pediatric surgeons, neonatologists, have extensive experience in performing ultrasound guided fetoscopic repair and has helped many babies with spina bifida to live happier and healthier lives. We believe in providing personalized care to every patient and work closely with parents throughout the entire process.

The Benefits of Fetoscopic Repair of Spina Bifida

  • Improved outcomes for mother and baby: Fetoscopic repair of spina bifida can lead to improved outcomes for both mother and baby. By repairing the spinal defect while the baby is still in the womb, we can prevent further damage and improve the chances of a healthy delivery.  
  • Minimally-invasive procedure: Fetoscopic repair is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves making small incisions in the mother’s abdomen. This reduces the risk of complications and shortens recovery time compared to traditional open surgery.  
  • Reduced risk of preterm labor: Fetoscopic repair has been shown to reduce the risk of preterm labor and delivery, which is a common complication associated with spina bifida.  
  • Better neurological outcomes: Studies have shown that fetoscopic repair can lead to better neurological outcomes for babies with spina bifida. By repairing the spinal defect early, we can prevent further damage to the spinal cord and improve overall neurological function.  

Improved quality of life: By preventing further damage and improving outcomes, fetoscopic repair can lead to an improved quality of life for both mother and baby. This includes a reduced risk of complications and a better chance of achieving developmental milestones.  

Overall, fetoscopic repair of spina bifida is a safe and effective treatment option that offers many benefits over traditional open surgery. If you or a loved one is dealing with spina bifida, contact us today to learn more about our advanced fetal medicine solutions and schedule a consultation with our expert team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spinal column does not close properly. It can cause nerve damage and other complications. The severity of this condition varies widely, but it is often treatable.  

What Causes Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida usually happens during the first month of pregnancy. During this time, your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing and will eventually run through openings in your child’s back where they should have been closed by bone and tissue. If there is an opening in the spine, fluid from inside your baby’s body can leak out into this space, causing pressure on his or her nervous system and other organs. The exact cause for spina bifida is unknown. It often occurs when one or both parents carry a genetic mutation that causes their body to be unable to make enough collagen, a substance that helps build strong connective tissue like ligaments and tendons.  

How Is Spina Bifida Diagnosed?

Spina Bifida is usually diagnosed during pregnancy through routine ultrasound scans. During the ultrasound, the doctor can check for any abnormalities in the development of the baby’s spine.  

If an abnormality is detected, further testing may be necessary. These tests may include a detailed ultrasound, amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). In some cases, fetal MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) may also be used to get a more detailed view of the baby’s spine and brain.  

If Spina Bifida is suspected after birth, a physical exam will be conducted to look for any signs of the condition. This may include checking for a sac-like protrusion on the back, muscle weakness or paralysis, or loss of bladder or bowel control.  

In some cases, Spina Bifida may not be diagnosed until later in life if the symptoms are mild or not immediately noticeable. This may happen if a person develops back pain, difficulty walking, or other related symptoms.  

It is important to note that early detection and diagnosis of Spina Bifida can lead to better outcomes for the baby and their parents. If you suspect that your baby may have Spina Bifida, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider and get the necessary testing done as soon as possible.  

What Are The Treatment Options For Spina Bifida?

The following are some of the treatment options for Spina Bifida:  

Surgery: Surgery is usually the main treatment option for Spina Bifida. The goal of surgery is to close the opening in the spine and prevent further damage to the spinal cord. In some cases, surgery may be performed before birth (in utero) or shortly after birth. Depending on the severity of the condition, multiple surgeries may be required over time.  

Shunts: Some people with Spina Bifida may develop a condition called hydrocephalus, which is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. To treat this, a shunt may be inserted to help drain the excess fluid from the brain to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.  

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to help improve muscle strength and mobility, as well as to prevent joint problems.  

Assistive Devices: Depending on the severity of symptoms, assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs may be prescribed to help with mobility.  

Medications: Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms, or bladder and bowel problems.  

It is important to note that treatment for Spina Bifida is often ongoing and may involve a team of healthcare professionals, including a neurosurgeon, urologist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. Regular check-ups and monitoring are also necessary to prevent or detect complications early on.  

Is Fetal Surgery For Spina Bifida Available In UAE?

Yes, fetal surgery for spina bifida is available in UAE. Prof. Kypros Nicolaides Fetal Medicine & Therapy Center in Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi is the only center in UAE that offers ultrasound guided fetoscopic repair of spina bifida. The center offers in utero spina bifida repair either through open fetal surgery or a minimally invasive fetoscopic approach.  

When Is Fetal Surgery Performed?

Fetoscopic repair of spina bifida is typically performed between 19 and 26 weeks gestation. It is usually preferred to do the procedure at around 24 or 25 weeks when the fetus is a little bit bigger.  

What Are Open and Closed Fetal Surgeries For Spina Bifida?

Open fetal surgery for spina bifida is a delicate surgical procedure where fetal surgeons open the uterus and close the opening in the baby’s back while they are still in the womb. This procedure is shown to offer significantly better results than traditional repair after birth. On the other hand, fetoscopic fetal surgery is a minimally invasive approach that reduces the risks associated with a large uterine incision. The goal of both open and closed fetal surgery is to restore normal anatomy as much as possible and treat any of the secondary effects of spina bifida such as hydrocephalus.