Get answers to your Pediatric Surgery questions.
Myelomeningocele repair; Myelomeningocele closure; Myelodysplasia repair; Spinal dysraphism repair; Meningomyelocele repair; Neural tube defect repair; Spina bifida repair
Meningocele repair (also known as myelomeningocele repair) is surgery to repair birth defects of the spine and spinal membranes. Meningocele and myelomeningocele are types of spina bifida.
For both meningoceles and myelomeningoceles, the surgeon will close the opening in the back.
After birth, the defect is covered by a sterile dressing. Your child may then be transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and cared for by a medical team experienced in caring for children with spina bifida.
If the myelomeningocele is not covered by skin or a membrane when your child is born, surgery will happen within 24 to 48 hours after birth to prevent infection.
If your child has hydrocephalus, the doctor may put a shunt (plastic tube) in their brain to drain the extra fluid to the stomach. This prevents pressure that could damage the baby' s brain. See also: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt
Your child should not be exposed to latex before, during, and after surgery. Many of these children have very bad allergies to latex.
Repair of a meningocele or myelomeningocele is needed to prevent infection and further injury to the child' s spinal cord and nerves. Surgery cannot correct the defects in the spinal cord or nerves.
Kinsman SL, Johnston MV. Congenital anomalies of the central nervous system. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 592.
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