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
A health care provider often will find these defects before birth using fetal ultrasound. The doctor will follow the fetus very closely until birth. It is better if you're infant is carried to full term. Your doctor will want to do a cesarean section (C-section). This will prevent further damage to the sac or exposed spinal tissue.
Your child will usually need to spend about 2 weeks in the hospital after surgery. The child must lay flat without touching the wound area. After surgery, your child will receive antibiotics to prevent infection.
MRI or ultrasound of the brain is repeated after surgery to see if hydrocephalus develops once the defect in the back is repaired.
Your child may need physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Many children with these problems have gross (large) and fine (small) motor disabilities, and swallowing problems, early in life.
The child may need to see a team of medical experts in spina bifida often after they are discharged from the hospital.
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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