About Fetal Surgery for Sacrococcygeal Teratoma

If your baby with sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) develops fetal hydrops and his condition puts him in jeopardy, immediate intervention is recommended. If your baby is mature, we will perform an emergency cesarean section. If they are not ready to be born, fetal surgery to remove the SCT will be recommended.

In fetal surgery for SCT, you will receive general anesthesia to provide complete pain relief. Although general anesthesia will alleviate most of the pain of the fetus, additional anesthesia is provided to your baby directly during the operation.

Once you are asleep, your fetal surgeon will make an incision similar to that of a cesarean section and will lift the uterus partly out of the abdomen. This procedure is called a hysterotomy. Next, the surgical team will open the uterus and expose your baby's tumor. You fetal surgeon will remove the tumor and close the wound in your baby's back. The uterus is then closed, placed back inside your abdomen, and the abdominal incision repaired. Mothers recover in the hospital for several days.

At CHOP, fetal surgery, your baby’s delivery and postnatal care all happen in one facility. After fetal surgery, you will stay in our Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the world’s first birth facility designed exclusively for pregnancies complicated by birth defects.

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Tour our Fetal Center

Watch this video tour to learn what to expect at your first visit to the Wood Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.

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What to Expect

From the moment of referral through delivery and postnatal care, your family can expect a supportive experience when you come to us with a diagnosis of a birth defect.

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