Antenatal Counseling for Congenital Anomalies

With the advancement in imaging technology, antenatal ultrasounds have become very good at picking up a number of conditions in your baby that may or may not require surgery when your baby is born.

Although ultrasound is not able to pick up all of the abnormalities, it does pick up a significant number of them. Once you know that there is a potential problem with your baby you may want to get as much as information as possible as to what you might expect in the time around the baby’s birth and what is likely to happen thereafter.

The sorts of conditions that are likely to be diagnosed before your baby’s birth include abdominal wall defects such as gastroschisis or exomphalos, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, blockage in the food pipe eg Esophageal Atresia, blockages of the bowel such as duodenal atresia or small bowel atresia and a number of cysts in the body such as cysts in the neck, lung and chest, in the abdomen or cysts arising from the ovaries.

Additionally a number of conditions related to the kidney can be diagnosed such as a swelling in the kidney aka Hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis in the kidney can be transitional in most of the cases and just needs to be followed up after the birth of the baby. However it can also be a marker of backflow of urine from the bladder to the ureter and kidneys or it can be also be due to some obstruction in the flow of the urine at any level in the urinary tract, eg PUJ (Pelviureteric Junction) obstruction, posterior urethral valves etc, in which case your baby may require surgical correction.

We provide an antenatal counselling service which aims to be able to give you as much of this information as possible so that you know exactly what to expect. Your obstetrician will let you know if he or she thinks it is appropriate for you to meet a Paediatric surgeon before your child is born.

Dr. Ashish Prasad

Consultant Paediatric Surgery and Paediatric Urology
MBBS, DNB (General Surgery), DNB (Paediatric Surgery)

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