Herman planned a crash course in fetal surgery for Arizona

Everything in-utero happens at hyperspeed... In fetal surgery, every patient you treat will be encased in a mother. A mother whose heightened state of concern is a biological and evolutionary necessity.
Nicole Herman describing her specialty

Fetal surgery (sometimes referred to as prenatal surgery or maternal-fetal surgery) is a surgical sub-specialty of pediatric surgery and maternal-fetal medicine that includes any of a broad range of surgical techniques that are used to treat birth defects in fetuses who are still in the pregnant uterus.

Surgeons trained in fetal surgery are called fetal surgeons or maternal-fetal surgeons. Due to the field of fetal surgery being relatively new, the few fetal surgeons that are practicing are essentially inventing it.

Additionally, fetal surgeons, even those with a background in pediatric surgery, are trained to handle maternal-fetal/obstetrical cases that do not require fetal surgery performed.

Notable Fetal Surgeons[edit | edit source]

Notable Cases[edit | edit source]

  • Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) (Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head): Addison works to separate fetal blood vessels in twins sharing a placenta using fetoscopic laser ablation (using a laser to sever the fetal blood vessels)
  • Mirror Syndrome with a In-Utero Blood Transfusion (Ex-Life): While Addison is at Seattle Grace Hospital tending to her brother, Derek asks Addison to consult on his patient, who is showing signs of Mirror Syndrome, caused by the baby's anemia following a blood transfusion with the mother in surgery and causing congestive heart failure in both mother and child. Addison recommends delivering the baby, while Derek suggests a in-utero blood transfusion, despite the fact he knows nothing of the procedure and Addison is highly against the procedure, and the mother insists on the blood transfusion. Addison does successfully tranfuse blood into the baby, resolving the heart failure and anemia, not while berating Derek for cornering her into this.
  • Fetal Hydrocephalus: (The Parent Trap): Addison performed an in-utero intracranial septostomy for fetal hydrocephalus.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

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