Research: Maternal and fetal anaesthesia for fetal surgery


. 2021 Apr;76 Suppl 4:63-68. doi: 10.1111/anae.15423.

Maternal and fetal anaesthesia for fetal surgery

J R Dick 1R Wimalasundera 2R Nandi 3Affiliations expand

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Over the last three decades, advances in early diagnosis of fetal anomalies, imaging and surgical techniques have led to a huge expansion in fetal surgery. A small number of specialist centres perform fetal surgery, which involves high-risk anaesthesia for the mother and fetus. The anaesthetist plays an integral role within the large multispecialty and multidisciplinary team, involved in planning and delivering care for complex surgical procedures. This article reviews three fetal surgical procedures, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, myelomeningocele repair and ex-utero intrapartum treatment for airway obstruction. The underlying fetal pathology, surgical management, anaesthetic considerations and risks for both the mother and fetus are described for each. Fundamental to this is the understanding that clear communication and collaboration between all team members is vital to ensure successful outcomes of patients, the mother and the fetus.

Keywords: EXIT procedure; fetal surgery; maternal anaesthesia.

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