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Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Fetal Shunting

What is fetal shunting?

Rarely, some fetuses have excess fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusions) or cysts within the lungs (CCAM). Fetal shunting will alleviate this accumulation of fluid temporarily during development.

Describe the procedure

We treat babies with excessive fluid in their chests with fetal shunting. This procedure uses a needle to place a shunt. The shunt is a small drainage tube from the baby’s body to the fluid around the baby. This shunting allows life saving drainage during development. 

Who is a good candidate for fetal shunting?

In some cases of LUTO the kidney’s are still functioning and placing a shunt between the baby’s bladder and the amniotic sac may be an appropriate intervention.  The bladder shunt (vesicoamniotic shunt) involves placing a small tube from the bladder into the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.  This allows fluid in the bladder to bypass the obstruction and drain into the amniotic sac. This fluid circulates around the baby and is necessary for fetal lung development. The bladder shunt may improve fetal survival but does not guarantee a normal renal function in postnatal life.

Refer a Fetal Care Center patient