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What is Fetoscopy?

Fetoscopy is a diagnostic procedure where a tiny camera, called a fetoscope, is inserted into the womb to observe a developing fetus. This minimally invasive technique allows doctors to detect and sometimes treat conditions before birth. Intrigued by the potential of fetoscopy? Discover how this remarkable tool is revolutionizing prenatal care and what it could mean for future pregnancies.
Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

A fetoscopy is a medical procedure designed to allow a doctor to see the developing fetus during pregnancy with the aid of a small instrument known as a fetoscope. This procedure may be used to diagnose, evaluate, or treat problems with the fetus and is generally performed after the 18th week of pregnancy. There are two different types of fetoscopy that may be utilized, depending on the individual situation. One procedure is performed on the outside of the abdomen, much like an ultrasound. The other type of fetoscopy requires that the fetoscope is inserted into the uterus, either through the abdomen or through the cervix.

An external fetoscopy requires the use of a type of fetoscope that resembles a stethoscope, except that it has a headpiece attached to it. This instrument is used on the abdomen in much the same way as a routine ultrasound. This procedure can be used any time after 18 weeks of gestation to monitor fetal heart tones. An external fetoscopy may also be utilized during labor to avoid the necessity of the mother being connected to a fetal monitor for the entire duration of the labor process. There are no risks associated with this type of procedure.

An endoscopic fetoscopy may cause infection or premature labor.
An endoscopic fetoscopy may cause infection or premature labor.

An endoscopic fetoscopy uses a fiber-optic instrument that is inserted into the uterus through an incision in the abdomen or through the cervix. This type of fetoscopy may be used in order to allow the doctor to get a clear look at the fetus if problems are suspected or to obtain tissue samples from the fetus. Surgery can also be performed on the fetus using this procedure if it is deemed medically necessary. There is a small chance of developing serious complications as the result of this procedure, including fetal injury or death.

Fetoscopy is a way to see the development of the fetus during pregnancy.
Fetoscopy is a way to see the development of the fetus during pregnancy.

An endoscopic fetoscopy can be either an outpatient or an inpatient surgical procedure, depending on the individual situation. Anesthesia for the mother may be either local, regional, or general, depending on the goals of the procedure. In many cases, medications are used to temporarily lower the heart rate of the fetus in order to reduce the risks of fetal injury. Possible risks related to the use of this procedure include infection, premature labor, or fetal death. As this is considered a minimally invasive type of surgery, the risks of such complications are much lower for the mother and the fetus than if open surgery is performed.

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    • An endoscopic fetoscopy may cause infection or premature labor.
      By: Trish23
      An endoscopic fetoscopy may cause infection or premature labor.
    • Fetoscopy is a way to see the development of the fetus during pregnancy.
      By: Noel Powell
      Fetoscopy is a way to see the development of the fetus during pregnancy.
    • A fetoscope can be inserted into the uterus through the abdomen or through the cervix.
      By: reineg
      A fetoscope can be inserted into the uterus through the abdomen or through the cervix.
    • Vaginal ultrasound probes may be inserted into the vagina during pregnancy to obtain an image of the uterus.
      By: zayacsk
      Vaginal ultrasound probes may be inserted into the vagina during pregnancy to obtain an image of the uterus.
    • A fetoscopy may be used to prevent the need for the mother to be connected to a fetal monitor throughout labor.
      By: Monkey Business
      A fetoscopy may be used to prevent the need for the mother to be connected to a fetal monitor throughout labor.
    • In most cases, there are no ill effects from a fetoscopy, and the pregnancy continues without issue.
      By: paulmz
      In most cases, there are no ill effects from a fetoscopy, and the pregnancy continues without issue.
    • Surgery may be performed on a fetus using an endoscopic fetoscopy if it is deemed necessary.
      By: Valeriy Velikov
      Surgery may be performed on a fetus using an endoscopic fetoscopy if it is deemed necessary.