Call Us Enquire Find Us

Contact Us

Phone

(03) 9416 2802

 

Email

info@drstephencole.com.au

 

Fax

(03) 9495 6491

 

Address

Suite 207, 320 Victoria Parade

East Melbourne, VIC 3002 

 

My private consulting rooms are located on the ground floor of the Epworth Freemasons Day Procedure and Maternity Centre in East Melbourne.

 

Getting There

Underground parking is available for a fee. There is also limited on-street metered parking in the area.

 

The number 12 and 109 trams stop right outside the building, and the number 11 and 30 tram stop is a 5 minute walk away.

 

The number buses also stop right outside the building.

 

Train access is via Parliament station, which is a 10 minute walk away

Online Enquiry

Please call me back
* Required fields

Fetal Surgery

 

 Fetal surgery (also called in-utero surgery) refers to surgery performed on the baby or placenta in the womb, prior to birth.  It is most commonly used in the treament of some complications of twin pregnancies, and may also be used in the treatment of some birth defects.

 

The conditions most commonly treated by fetal surgery include:

  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome
  • Acardiac twins
  • Other monochorionic (single placenta) twin complications
  • Spina bifida
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Congenital cystadenomatoid malformation of the lung (CCAM)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Sacrococcygeal teratoma

Around the world, surgeons have explored the option of fetal surgery for several decades, however this highly specialised area of medicine is still in it's infancy, and treatments are continually evolving.

 

Thankfully the number of babies that have conditions in which fetal surgery may be an option is quite small.  For those small number of babies, fetal surgery may increase their chances of surviving the pregnancy and newborn period, or may improve their quality of life.  It is important to recognise though that fetal surgery is not always successful, and may in fact pose some significant risks for both the mother and her unborn baby.  Those risks need to be balanced against the potential benefits of the procedure.

 

The evaluation of a patient who may potentially benefit from fetal surgery is complex and highly specialised, and can only be performed by an experienced fetal surgeon.Not only does the condition itself require thorough evaluation, but the potential complexity of the procedure and risks to mother and baby need to be considered.  Sometimes even relatively subtle differences in circumstances can make a big difference in the feasability or likely success of a procedure.  

 

If you have a condition that you think, or that you have been told may benefit from fetal surgery, you should certainly do your own research to try and understand as much as you can about the condition, and potential treatment options.  But it is important to remember that this is not a substitute for individualised, considered evaluation by an expert.

 

In Victoria fetal surgery is performed by the Victorian Fetal Therapy Service (VFTS).  The VFTS was established in 2006 as a collaboration between the three major obstetric hospitals in Melbourne - The Royal Women's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, and Mercy Hospital for Women.  A small number of dedicated obstetric surgeons from each of those hospitals work collaboratively to provide high quality fetal surgical options for those women who may benefit from this approach.  If you potentially require fetal surgery in Victoria, you will be referred to one of these surgeons.  I have been one of the team involved in the planning and establishment of the VFTS, and continue as a member of the sugical team.  I am happy to meet with you and discuss the role of fetal surgery in your situation, including feasability along with the potential benefits and risks of surgical and non-surgical approaches.

.