HOUSTON, Texas (KPRC) - Spina Bifida is one of the most common birth defects in the United States, diagnosed in about 1,500 babies every year. But thanks to research and support from the March of Dimes, doctors are now able to perform life-changing surgery on babies before they're even born.
At 18 weeks pregnant, Meagan Bishop learned her unborn baby had Spina Bifida, a birth defect where the spinal cord doesn't finish forming completely leading to physical and neurological impairments.
The Bishops came to Texas Children's Hospital for a very delicate procedure where surgeons opened the pregnant mother's uterus and repair her baby's spine.
Traditionally, doctors would wait until after birth to make the repair. But, studies have shown operating in utero greatly reduces the risk of fluid on the child's brain while doubling the likelihood that the child will one day walk independently.