Fetal Counselling for Surgical Congenital Malformations

  • Kokila Lakhoo

Paediatric surgeons are often called to counsel parents once a surgical abnormality is diagnosed on a prenatal scan. The referral base for a paediatric surgeon now includes the perinatal period. Expertise in surgical correction of congenital malformations may favourably infl uence the perinatal management of prenatally diagnosed anomalies by changing the site of delivery for immediate postnatal treatment; altering the mode of delivery to prevent obstructed labour or haemorrhage; early delivery to prevent ongoing fetal organ damage; or treatment in utero to prevent, minimise or reverse fetal organ injury as a result of a structural defect. Favourable impact of prenatal counselling has been confi rmed to infl uence the site of delivery in 37% of cases, change the mode of delivery in 6.8%, reverse the decision to terminate a pregnancy in 3.6% and infl uence the early delivery of babies in 4.5%.

Counselling parents about prenatally suspected surgically correctable anomalies should not be solely performed by obstetricians or paediatricians. Similarly the paediatric surgeon performing these prenatal consultations must be aware of differences between the prenatal and postnatal natural history of the anomaly. There is often a lack of understanding of the natural history and prognosis of a condition presenting in the newborn and the same condition diagnosed prenatally.


Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Paediatric Surgeon Posterior Urethral Valve Nuchal Translucency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. Black R, Boyd P (2004) What's new in prenatal diagnosis? Trends Urol Gynaecol Sex Health 9:9–11Google Scholar
  2. Boyd PA, Keeling JW (2007) Congenital abnormalities, prenatal diagnosis and screening. In JW Keeling (ed) Fetal and Neonatal Pathology, 4th edn. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Harrison MR (2006) The fetus as a patient. In JL Grosfeld, JA O'Neill, EW Fonkalsrud, AG Coran (eds) Pediatric Surgery. Mosby, Philadelphia, pp 77–88Google Scholar
  4. Lakhoo K (2007) Fetal counselling for congenital malformations. PSI 23:509–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lakhoo K et al (2006) Best clinical practice: surgical conditions of the fetus and newborn. Early Hum Dev 82(5):281–324PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Puri P, Höllwarth ME (eds) (2006) Pediatric Surgery. Springer, Berlin, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Sylvester K, Albanese CT (2005) The fetus as a patient. In KT Oldham, PM Colombani, RP Foglia, MA Skinner, (eds) Principles and Practice of Pediatric Surgery. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, pp 27–47Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kokila Lakhoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Children's HospitalOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations