Surgery at its most intricate

Monday, May 1 2017

Fetal Surgery

The Colorado Fetal Care Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado treats patients at their most vulnerable stage: before they’re born.

It’s an unimaginable scenario for an expectant parent: a routine ultrasound reveals that your unborn baby has spina bifida. This birth defect occurs when there is an incomplete closing of the backbone, leaving the spinal cord exposed.

In severe cases, babies born with spina bifida require a cerebral shunt to drain fluid from their brains, while many others suffer from nerve damage and paralysis. But at Children’s Hospital Colorado, spina bifida can now be corrected in-utero by surgically closing the spinal cord opening, significantly reducing the need for a shunt – and the risk of serious complications in the future.

Renowned fetal surgeons at Children’s Colorado have successfully performed dozens of spina bifida procedures on unborn babies with some of the best outcomes in the nation. And last year, the Colorado Fetal Care Center became the first in the world to use 3D printing technology to fabricate the corrective patches before fetal surgery. Each patch is customized to the patient based on computer models assembled from a fetal MRI.

This innovation, pioneered at Children’s Colorado, has dramatically reduced the time required to complete the procedure, making the surgery much safer for both mom and baby.

These life-saving interventions on the tiniest of patients are possible because of gifts from our donors. Your support fuels innovation, world-class talent and – most importantly – hope.

Since opening in 2011, the Colorado Fetal Care Center team at Children’s Colorado has overseen more than 500 deliveries of high-risk babies. With patients from 45 different states, the Colorado Fetal Care Center is one of the most highly regarded and busiest fetal surgery programs in the nation.

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