Physician views regarding the benefits and burdens of prenatal surgery for myelomeningocele

R. M. Antiel, C. A. Collura, A. W. Flake, M. P. Johnson, N. E. Rintoul, J. D. Lantos, F. A. Curlin, J. C. Tilburt, S. D. Brown, C. Feudtner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective:Examine how pediatric and obstetrical subspecialists view benefits and burdens of prenatal myelomeningocele (MMC) closure.Study design:Mail survey of 1200 neonatologists, pediatric surgeons and maternal-fetal medicine specialists (MFMs).Results:Of 1176 eligible physicians, 670 (57%) responded. Most respondents disagreed (68%, 11% strongly) that open fetal surgery places an unacceptable burden on women and their families. Most agreed (65%, 10% strongly) that denying the benefits of open maternal-fetal surgery is unfair to the future child. Most (94%) would recommend prenatal fetoscopic over open or postnatal MMC closure for a hypothetical fetoscopic technique that had similar shunt rates (40%) but decreased maternal morbidity. When the hypothetical shunt rate for fetoscopy was increased to 60%, physicians were split (49% fetoscopy versus 45% open). Views about burdens and fairness correlated with the likelihood of recommending postnatal or fetoscopic over open closure.Conclusion:Individual and specialty-specific values may influence recommendations about prenatal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-998
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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