Birth Definitions

Fetoscopy Definition


Fetoscopy is a medical procedure performed during pregnancy (12-20 weeks gestation) to gain access to the fetus in order to obtain diagnostic information or to perform therapeutic interventions. It can be used to diagnose certain conditions such as chromosomal abnormalities, congenital heart defects, and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. It can also be used to treat conditions such as Twin Reversed Arterial Perfusion (TRAP) sequence.

In this procedure, the fetus is accessed through a small incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. This is performed using a fetoscope, which is a thin, fiberoptic telescope, inserted through the incision and into the uterus. It is used to visualize the fetus and to obtain biopsy samples of the fetus for genetic testing. In some cases, the fetoscope can also be used to deliver medications or perform surgery on the fetus. There are two types of fetoscopes: an external fetoscope that listens to the fetal heartbeat, and an internal endoscope that views the fetus using an endoscope.

The Fetoscopy procedure takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. It is usually performed under general anesthesia. After the procedure, the mother is closely monitored for any complications such as bleeding, infection, or premature labor. Most mothers can go home the same day or the next day.

Risks Associated with Fetoscopy

Overall, fetoscopy is a safe and effective procedure that offers many benefits to both mother and child. There are some risks associated with fetoscopy, but these are rare. These include:

  1. Uterine perforation
  2. Premature labor
  3. Infection
  4. Excessive bleeding
  5. Fetal injury

Other Related Terms

Other terms related to fetoscopy include:

  • Fetal surgery: Surgery performed on the fetus while in the uterus
  • Fetal medicine: The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the fetus
  • Fetal therapy: The use of medical interventions to treat conditions affecting the fetus
  • Fetal diagnostics: The use of diagnostic tests to assess the health of the fetus
  • Fetal assessment: The use of medical tests and procedures to evaluate the health and development of the fetus

This image shows how often the term ‘Fetoscopy’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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