Fetoscopy enables doctors to view and examine an unborn baby via a small camera called a fetoscope. Doctors also use this procedure to perform fetal surgery and collect tissue samples to biopsy.
At the Fetal Care Center, our doctors are experts at performing these delicate procedures. We perform hundreds of fetoscopic procedures every year, so you can be confident your unborn baby is in highly capable hands.
Fetoscopy: What to Expect
During this procedure your doctor:
- Makes a small incision in your abdomen
- Inserts a small camera, or fetoscope, through the incision and into the uterus and amniotic sac
- Views and examines your unborn baby through the fetoscope
- If needed, collects tissue samples or performs surgery while your unborn baby is in the womb
Conditions Treated With Fetoscopy
Our doctors use fetoscopic procedures to assess and treat many types of fetal conditions. Some of the most common conditions that require fetoscopy include:
- Amniotic band syndrome: Via a fetoscope, your doctor assesses strands of tissue that have wrapped around your unborn baby. During surgery, your doctor uses a fetoscope to guide a laser device that cuts and releases the bands.
- Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome: A fetoscope enables your doctor to view abnormal blood vessels between identical twins. These blood vessels cause one baby to receive too much blood flow while the other baby receives too little. Your doctor uses a fetoscope during surgery to guide a laser device that cuts and seals problematic blood vessels.
After Fetoscopic Surgery
A fetoscopic procedure increases the risk of complications, including early labor and delivery. You will stay at the Women & Infants Center for observation and monitoring until your doctor gives the okay to go home.
To make an appointment with a Washington University fetal care specialist at the Women & Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.