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Can a meningocoele be treated after a child is born?

Q: My sister is 6 months pregnant and the baby has been detected with meningocoele. The detailed scanning reveals that the swelling does not contain any nerves and limb movements are noted. Her paediatric surgeon had asked to continue the pregnancy because it can be solved soon after the delivery through a major surgery. I want to know how much is the success rate of this type of surgery and which all hospitals and doctors have successfully carried this out?

A:At 6 months pregnancy you have almost no choice but to continue with the pregnancy. This lesion can be corrected after birth successfully at all major hospitals that have a qualified paediatric surgeon. Unfortunately, this ultrasound is not an accurate estimate of the function of the limbs. There might be some nerve deficits, either in the legs or in the nerves that control the urine and faecal sphincter muscle. Some of these babies, after surgery of the spine, do develop extra fluid in the brain which is called hydrocephalus. This latter problem may be controlled with medicines or may require a shunting operation. It is best to discuss all these issues with your treating surgeon.


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