Narrator: In utero spina bifida surgery is a complex procedure which requires a team of experts from many Mayo Clinic specialties. Before the operation begins, the mother is put under deep general anesthesia to make sure both she and the baby are asleep.
Using ultrasound as a guide, surgeons make the first incision to access the uterus. Then in cases where the placenta blocks access to the uterus, the uterus is moved out of the mother's abdomen and turned.
Doctors make a one centimeter incision in the uterus and use a special stapler to secure blood flow. Then they fill the uterus with a solution.
The fetus floats to the top of the uterus and the spina bifida is exposed. Now doctors can begin the repair.
First, they close what's called the neural placode. Second, they suture the dura mater. Third, they close the skin.
Then they close the uterus, replace that into the mother's abdomen and close her incision.