Dr. Scott Adzick: October 18, 2016

 Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida

One of the Most Exciting Developments in the History of Treating Birth Defects 

October is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month


Scott Adzick, M.D.

Surgeon-In-Chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which an area of the spinal column doesn’t form properly, leaving a section of the spinal cord and spinal nerves exposed through an opening in the back. Between 1,400 and 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida in the United States each year. Families are often unaware of available treatments for their unborn baby facing a birth defect and can feel like there are few options.

Until recently, the only treatment option for spina bifida was postnatal repair. Now, thanks to the many breakthroughs in science and technology, prenatal fetal surgery repair for myelomeningocele (MMC), the most common and serious form of spina bifida, is possible if the mother and baby fit the criteria.

Fetal surgery for spina bifida is not a cure, but studies show that prenatal repair can offer significantly better results than traditional postnatal repair. Fetal surgery for spina bifida greatly reduces the need to divert fluid from the brain, improves mobility and improves the chances that a child will be able to walk independently.

Pioneering fetal surgeon Dr. Scott Adzick specializes in treating these babies’ unique needs – including performing surgical procedures when they are still in the womb.  For Spina Bifida Awareness Month, Dr. Adzick is on hand to discuss this advancing technology and how fetal surgery can improve the lives of many children worldwide.

More About Dr. Scott Adzick:

Dr. Scott Adzick is the Surgeon-in-Chief, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and is the director of the Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, the largest and most comprehensive fetal program in the world, having welcomed expectant mothers from all 50 states and more than 50 countries.  An innovator in fetal medicine since the field’s inception, Dr. Adzick has dedicated his career to the pursuit of groundbreaking prenatal treatment for birth defects, has made pioneering contributions to fetal surgery, and today continues to explore cutting-edge treatment options. Since 1995, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has performed over 1,400 fetal surgeries on babies with prenatally diagnosed birth defects, more than any other hospital in the world.

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