Fetal neurosurgery

Childs Nerv Syst. 2023 Oct;39(10):2899-2927. doi: 10.1007/s00381-023-06109-6. Epub 2023 Aug 22.


Among fetal surgical procedures, neurosurgery stands out due to the number of cases and the possibility of developing new procedures that can be performed in the fetal period. To perform fetal neurosurgical procedures, there is a need for specialized centers that have experts in the diagnosis of fetal pathologies and a highly complex obstetrics service with specialized maternal-fetal teams associated with a pediatric neurosurgery center with expertise in the diverse pathologies of the fetus and the central nervous system that offers multidisciplinary follow-up during postnatal life. Services that do not have these characteristics should refer their patients to these centers to obtain better treatment results. It is essential that the fetal neurosurgical procedure be performed by a pediatric neurosurgeon with extensive experience, as he will be responsible for monitoring these patients in the postnatal period and for several years. The objective of this manuscript is to demonstrate the diagnostic and treatment possibilities, in the fetal period, of some neurosurgical diseases such as hydrocephalus, tumors, occipital encephalocele, and myelomeningocele.

Keywords: Fetal brain tumors; Fetal neurosurgery; Fetal surgery; Hydrocephalus; Myelomeningocele.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetus / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / surgery
  • Male
  • Meningomyelocele* / complications
  • Meningomyelocele* / surgery
  • Neurosurgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Pregnancy