An Incredible First: Helping Children With Spina Bifida In-Utero
Last Saturday, Charlotte, a beautiful baby gift was born in Houston, making her parents very proud. Her debut was a heartwarming and much-anticipated one for everyone at Texas Children's Hospital.
Charlotte had been diagnosed with myelomeningocele, also known as spina bifida or open neural tube defect (NTD) while still in her mother's womb. Spina bifida occurs in 3.4 out of every 10,000 live births in the U.S. and is the most common permanently disabling birth defect for which there is no known cure. But thanks to recent advancements in fetal medicine, a new procedure is now available that involves closing the spinal defect before birth, which gives babies with spina bifida a stronger start to life and may improved motor function for some patients. For Charlotte, she was referred to our Fetal Center after she was diagnosed with spina bifida where she underwent the in-utero surgery. Our incredible team was able to close the spinal defect and return Charlotte to her mother's womb where she remained for another 11 weeks. Charlotte is now almost a week old and we are happy to report that she is growing strong and developing well. The happy outcome can be attributed to both her parent's determination that their daughter receive the best care and to the collaboration, hard work and expert ability of our fetal, neurological and maternal teams of physicians, nurses and clinicians. We are so proud of Baby Charlotte and the continued advancements in fetal medicine that give kids the best possible start to life.