Purpose: The purpose of this manuscript was to examine the maternal morbidity and reproductive outcomes following maternal-fetal surgery with an emphasis on the EXIT procedure.
Methods: The medical records of all women who underwent an ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure or mid-gestation open maternal fetal surgery (OMFS) at our center from December 2001 to December 2011 were reviewed retrospectively. Future reproductive outcomes were obtained via telephone questionnaire.
Results: Thirty-three women underwent maternal-fetal surgery. Twenty-six had EXIT, and seven had OMFS. The questionnaire response was 82% (27/33). Eighty-one percent (17/21) of the EXIT cohort desired future pregnancy. All who attempted (13/13) were successful. The majority (85%) conceived spontaneously and within 2.5 years on average. In the OMFS group, 40% experienced complications. One had uterine dehiscence, and another had uterine rupture requiring urgent delivery at 36 weeks. In subsequent pregnancies, 20% of OMFS cases were complicated by uterine rupture, and 8% of EXIT patients had uterine dehiscence. All had good maternal-fetal outcome.
Conclusion: Future reproductive capacity and complication rates in subsequent pregnancies following EXIT procedure are similar to those seen in the general population. In contrast, mid-gestation OMFS remains associated with relatively morbid complications. This evidence can help guide in counseling expectant mothers who are faced with the challenge of considering fetal surgery.
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