Spina bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them. The symptoms include:
• An abnormal tuft of hair
• A collection of fat
• A small dimple or birthmark
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA DIAGNOSED?
Prenatal blood tests and ultrasounds are conducted to diagnose Spina Bifida in the fetus. If the blood test shows high levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), the neurosurgeon may perform amniocentesis.
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA TREATED?
Treatment of Spina Bifida depends on the severity of the condition. Meningocele requires surgery to put back the meninges. Myelomeningocele requires surgery after 24 to 48 hrs after birth. Prenatal surgery may be done before the 26th week of pregnancy to repair the spinal cord. Ongoing care is also required in babies who have been operated for Spina Bifida
DID YOU KNOW?
The most common location of Spina Bifida is the lower back.