Fetal surgeries are performed in our fetal surgery unit, located at Cincinnati Children’s. On the day of surgery, you will check in at the Admissions Center on the first floor of Cincinnati Children’s before taking the elevator to the Cincinnati Fetal Center. Before going to the operating room, you will change into a hospital gown and the nurses will insert an intravenous (IV) catheter. You may receive some medicine through the IV to help you relax just before you are taken to the operating room.
After arriving in the operating room, your anesthesiologist will place your epidural, if you are going to receive one. Once the epidural takes effect, you will lie down and surgeons will use monitoring equipment to check on your heart’s electrical activity, your blood pressure and the oxygen levels in your blood.
If you are having fetoscopy, you may receive additional medicine to help you relax, and you may even take a nap during the surgery.
If you are having open fetal surgery or an EXIT procedure, your anesthesiologist will give you a general anesthetic to put you to sleep.
Once you are asleep, our surgeons will place a breathing tube in your windpipe to ensure you receive enough oxygen during the procedure. They will place a catheter in your bladder to measure your urine and will insert a special blood pressure monitor (an arterial line) in an artery (usually in the wrist). This equipment allows us to monitor your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, fluid or hydration status and blood pressure throughout the procedure, keeping you and your baby as safe as possible during surgery.