Complex birth defects affect about 3% of all liveborn children in the United States and are a major cause of death and illness among newborns. In UCSF's Spina Bifida Clinic and Craniofacial and Craniosynostosis Clinic, specialists in several disciplines work together to provide children with the best care possible, from diagnosis to rehabilitation and follow-up review - and to provide parents with the information and support they need to help their children. On the Neurological Surgery faculty, Dr. Nalin Gupta is an expert in the treatment of spinal and craniofacial anomalies, as is Dr. Warwick Peacock, who is a consultant with the clinic.
Most birth defects are treated after the child is born, but thanks to advances in imaging techniques and diagnostic testing, many birth defects can be detected and treated before a child is born, sparing the child potentially devastating consequences after birth. The UCSF Fetal Treatment Center
was the first institution to develop fetal surgery techniques and is the world leader in fetal diagnosis and therapy with surgery and endoscopic techniques. It is a multidisciplinary center, with specialists in pediatric surgery and neurosurgery, genetics, obstetrics and perinatology, radiology, nursing, and neonatal medicine. The Center's doctors, nurses, and staff coordinate every aspect of care, from diagnosis through long-term follow-up review as the child matures. Minimally invasive, closed-uterus surgical procedures using endoscopic techniques-called FETENDO-reduce the risk of preterm labor and delivery. The Fetal Treatment Center team's surgeons pioneered FETENDO for several life-threatening congenital conditions, and now offer prenatal treatment with this technique for other serious birth defects, including spina bifida (myelomeningocele).
Neurosurgical Care at UCSF Children's Hospital