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Bladder outlet obstruction occurs when the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, is too narrow or blocked and causes urine to back up in the bladder. This backup puts unborn babies at risk for serious health problems. Bladder outlet obstruction is rare, affecting approximately 1 out of every 5,000 to 25,000 newborns.
The Fetal Care Center uses the latest tools to diagnose, monitor and treat health problems during pregnancy. Thanks to our team’s extensive training and experience, we are able to confirm and diagnose many fetal conditions and additional complications that can often be misdiagnosed or go overlooked. For bladder outlet obstruction, you should expect to undergo regular testing and ultrasounds to assess your unborn baby’s bladder size, kidney function and amniotic fluid levels. What we learn from our testing and monitoring allows us to provide the best care for you and your baby.
In some cases, there is usually no reason to treat bladder outlet obstruction before birth. However, if your amniotic fluid is extremely low your doctor may need to perform a fetal surgery to place a hollow tube, or shunt, into your unborn baby’s bladder. This procedure is called fetal shunting and can increase your baby’s chance of survival.