Author Affiliation: Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.
Few can resist the siren call of fetal surgery. The media are fascinated.
Physicians in obstetrics, pediatric surgery, and, especially, reproductive
genetics envision fetal surgery and therapy as the natural extension of prenatal
genetic diagnosis. In utero diagnosis of birth defects is an attractive option
and becoming more widespread. However, 30 years after the first in utero diagnosis,1 the major benefit of prenatal genetic diagnosis is
better reproductive counseling for the parents. While this is laudable, physicians
like to treat.
Simpson JL. Fetal Surgery for MyelomeningocelePromise, Progress, and Problems. JAMA. 1999;282(19):1873-1874. doi:10.1001/jama.282.19.1873