Fetal Intervention in Spina Bifida

Video Poster

4th Annual CSF Disorders Symposium: From Canvas to Clinic - Art & the Management of Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders

Spina bifida is a congenital disorder, meaning you are born with it. Oftentimes, physicians can spot spina bifida while a child is still in the womb. Great advances in medical imaging, technology and interventions have allowed for the possibility to perform surgery in-utero to try and correct issues like spina bifida, myelomeningocele and other conditions before a baby is even born.

Dr. Konstantina Svokos details the relatively recent advancements in fetal surgery for spina bifida. Chiari II malformation occurs relatively commonly in patients with spina bifida and/or myelomeningocele, and thus, intervention in-utero has the potential to reduce disruptive, surgical interventions down the line for that child.

Importantly, Dr. Svokos touches on the difficult topic of ethics in fetal medicine. The criteria and indications that need to be met in order to perform an ethical fetal surgery are put forth by the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society (IFMSS) and provide a powerful case for (and against) this type of surgical intervention.

This presentation was made at the 4th annual CSF Disorders Symposium held at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University. The title of the meeting was "From Canvas to Clinic" and identified the important connections between art and medicine. (2019)

  Revised: 9/2019