Amniotic band syndrome causes no increased risk for the mother during pregnancy. Most complications of amniotic bands are handled after birth. For more severe cases, a detailed assessment of your situation is necessary before fetal surgery can be considered as an option.
In cases where the situation is mild, fetal surgery is not recommended and any complications will be treated after birth by reconstructive surgery. All cases of amniotic band syndrome should be monitored for potential increasing severity.
More severe cases may be considered for fetal surgery provided the maternal and fetal risks of surgery are small. A full evaluation is required before going ahead with fetal surgery as each case of amniotic band syndrome is unique and additional complications may be present. Fetal surgery may be a treatment option in select cases. This can be offered when the band is around a limb and causign swelling. and obstructing blood flow to the limb. The fetal surgeons can enter the uterus with a small instrument and attempt to cut the band around the limb. This can be accomplished by either disrupting the band with a laser or cutting the band with a sharp instrument. We have successfully released an amniotic band on a leg in a patient to avoid an amputation in-utero of the limb (see the Thomas Merkold Story).
A fetus with amniotic bands syndrome may require treatment after birth. Occasionally reconstructive surgery might be needed to correct deep constriction grooves, fused fingers or toes, cleft lip, or clubbed feet. Your child's surgical needs will range from minor to complicated depending on the extent of the deformities caused by the amniotic bands.
In most situations, you will be able to discuss your options with a plastic surgeon shortly after birth. If you plan on delivering your child at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, we have a very accomplished team of pediatric plastic surgeons who may be able to help.
Baby Sarah Elizabeth has a very successful recovery from an SCT which is removed while she is still a fetus.