Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
The infant will first spend some time in the recovery room, and then be transferred to an intensive care unit. The infant will be monitored for signs of excess bleeding and infection. Temperature will be closely monitored. Antibiotics...
will be given to decrease the risk of infection, and the infant will be positioned to lie flat on the stomach to avoid pressure on the surgical wound. Extreme care is taken to keep the wound clean of urine and stool.
Meningocele repair is surgery to repair birth defects of the spine and spinal membranes. . For both meningoceles and myelomeningoceles, surgery consists of putting the spinal cord or nerve roots in their normal place and protecting them by closing the overlying meninges and skin.
A myelomeningocele should be closed within 24 hours of birth to prevent infection. A shunt is usually required to drain excess fluid. If the baby has fluid build-up in the brain, a shunt is usually put in when the myelomeningocele is repaired. Otherwise, most neurosurgeons wait about 3 days to place a shunt.
If hydrocephalus is present at birth and already causing problems, then the myelomeningocele repair and shunt are done at the same time.
After surgery, antibiotics are usually given to prevent infection.
Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include an 11 percent increase in the number of neurosurgeons with full-time academic appointments and a 6 percent increase in the number of female neurosurgeons.
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