Causes of Meningomyelocele
There is no real consensus on the causes of Meningomyelocele and why this condition occurs. Sometimes it is indicated that a lack of folic acid before and during the pregnancy can cause impairment in the development of the spinal cord.
What are the signs, symptoms, and complications of meningomyelocele?
A baby born with Meningomyelocele has the spinal cord exposed, a sac on the baby’s back may cover the exposed part of the spinal cord. The symptoms may depend on individual cases. The condition is quite severe because the brain may be affected by an undeveloped spinal cord.
How is the diagnosis for meningomyelocele done?
Meningomyelocele is generally diagnosed during the pregnancy through the blood test called quadruple screen which tests for several congenital diseases of the baby. Further tests like pregnancy ultrasound and amniocentesis can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
What are the treatments of meningomyelocele available?
Since the condition is diagnosed in early pregnancy, some women choose to terminate the pregnancy. In case the baby is born, the baby will need prompt surgery after birth. The condition may cause a lot of complications like hydrocephalus, the child may not develop bladder control, or can have an adverse effect on lower limbs. In most cases, the treatment will be lifelong to manage and treat the complications.
What operations for Meningomyelocele are available?
The operation most commonly done is Myelomeningocele repair surgery. In this surgery, the birth defect is opened, the neural elements are placed back in the spinal canal and repair is done with the plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques. The surgery is usually done within 48-72 hours after birth to avoid any infection due to the ruptured type. Some patients may need Ventriculo-Peritoneal shunt surgery for the associated Hydrocephalus.
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