AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 1, 2020


Benefits of Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida Continue Through School Age, National Study Shows

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The benefits of fetal surgery to repair spina bifida, a procedure pioneered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in 1997, continue through school age, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reports.

Children who underwent fetal surgery to repair a common birth defect of the spine are more likely to walk independently and have fewer follow-up surgeries compared to those who have the traditional corrective surgery after birth, according to the research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the NIH.

The longitudinal study of 161 children who had repairs for spina bifida, the most common birth defect in the central nervous system, was conducted at the three centers that participated in the original Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) – VUMC, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of California, San Francisco.

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