Patient Guide to Fetal Surgery: Before and After Your Surgery

Preparation for Surgery

Before surgery, you should not eat or drink anything for a minimum of 8 hours prior to the procedure. We also recommend a warm shower and a relaxing evening the night before surgery. Please wear comfortable clothing to the hospital.

You should arrive 2 hours before your scheduled surgery start time. When you arrive at the hospital, you should check in at the Fetal Surgery Office with Corey. In the operating room, an intravenous line (IV) will be inserted to give fluids and medication necessary during the procedure. You may have a support person (husband, friend or partner) with you during this time. In most circumstances, this individual will also be allowed to accompany you to the operating room, and stay with you during the procedure. Corey and Dr. Schrimmer will be available to answer any questions you may have prior to starting the procedure. Once in the operating oom, the anesthesiologist will assist you with medication to help you relax and prevent pain. The actual procedure usually takes about an hour.

After the Surgery

Following the procedure you will be watched very closely to be sure that you are doing well during your initial recovery. The nurses there will be monitoring your temperature, pulse, and other vital signs. We will also monitor the twins, as well as your uterus for contractions.

Although pain should be minimal, medicine will be available if needed. Antibiotics and medication to help relax the uterus and stop any contractions may be given if necessary.

The morning after the procedure, a follow-up ultrasound will be done.

Follow-Up Care

Your physician can resume your care for the remainder of the pregnancy. The Fetal Surgery team will stay in touch with you and your doctor to address any questions or concerns.

We recommend weekly ultrasounds for the month following the procedure. If everything looks normal, ultrasounds can then be done every two weeks, or as suggested by your doctor.

We will continue to follow your progress and would like to receive copies of your ultrasound examinations, and any other relevant information. Information regarding delivery will also be requested from your doctor. We ask that your placenta be sent back to us for evaluation. This is extremely important as we continue to explore and understand this unusual disease process. Our increasing knowledge base will help us as we continue to advance the new science of fetal therapy. To facilitate the placental examination, we will provide you with an appropriate container and instructions on how to mail it back to us free of charge.