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July 12, 2011

Prenatal Surgery for Spina Bifida Comes of Age

In early June 2011, reporters from National Public Radio (NPR) spent two days in CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment covering a story about fetal surgery for myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida.

The NPR team captured various aspects of patient Sarah White’s experience, including interviews with her and her husband Joe Hensley, her doctors, N. Scott Adzick, MD, director of the Center and surgeon-in-chief at CHOP, Leslie N. Sutton, MD, chief of neurosurgery, and audio from inside CHOP's Fetal OR. The reporters then traveled to Cincinnati, OH, to visit 10-year-old Sean Mulligan and his mom Katherine who underwent fetal surgery for myelomeningocele at CHOP in 2000.

The story stresses that fetal surgery is no longer considered experimental: It is now a standard of care. The story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered as part of a summer series “Beginnings: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond.” Read the NPR story or listen to the podcast.

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