Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

My Areas of Expertise

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Spina Bifida

What Is Spina Bifida?

spina bifida; It refers to a situation where the bones that make up the spine do not completely cover the spinal cord, and the spinal cord and associated nerves are therefore exposed. The word spina bifida comes from the Latin and means “split” or “open” spine. For this reason, it is also known as “split spine disease”. This disease usually occurs at the end of the first month of pregnancy, when a baby’s spine and spinal cord are developing.

What are Neural Tube Defects?

Congenital defects of the brain or spinal cord are called neural tube defects. Neural tube defects often occur in the first month of pregnancy or when the expectant mother does not even know she is pregnant. Slight imperfections cause little or no problems. Some defects may be serious and may not even allow the fetus to live.

What Causes Spina Bifida?

What causes spina bifida disease has not yet been fully explained. However, a family history of neural tube defects and folic acid deficiency may result from various genetic and environmental risk factors or a combination of these risk factors. We can list the risk factors for spina bifida as follows:

• It is more common in white people.

• Folate deficiency: Folate is a natural form of vitamin B9. It is also very important for the healthy development of the fetus. Folic acid deficiency can increase the risks of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

• Use of certain drugs: It is a known fact that not every drug can be taken during pregnancy. For example; Valproic acid, which is used in the treatment of epilepsy, may affect the body’s mechanisms of using folate and folic acid when taken during pregnancy. This also increases the risk of spina bifida.

• Having a family history of neural tube defects: Parents who have a child with a neural tube defect have a higher risk of having another baby with the same defect. This risk is especially increased if the previous two children have also had the condition. Also, a woman born with a neural tube defect is more likely to have a child with spina bifida. In addition, many infants with spina bifida do not have a known familial history of neural tube defects.

• Diabetes (Diabetes): Mothers with diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled have a higher risk of having a baby with spina bifida.

• Obesity: Pre-pregnancy obesity can increase the risk of various neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

• Increased body temperature during pregnancy: Some evidence indicates that high body temperature during the first weeks of pregnancy may increase the risk of spina bifida. A rise in body temperature due to fever, sauna or hot tub use is associated with a slightly increased risk of spina bifida.

If there are known risk factors for spina bifida, it is useful to consult a doctor to get an opinion on the need for higher doses of folic acid before pregnancy. In addition, the drugs used during pregnancy should be told to the doctor. The reason for this is; The dose of some drugs can be adjusted before pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida.

How Is Spina Bifida Treated?

Babies diagnosed with spina bifida are very special for follow-up and planning their treatment. The expert team prepares a care plan by addressing the needs and problems of the baby. As the child continues to grow, new assessments can be made taking into account changes in his needs and condition. There are different treatment options for the various problems that spina bifida can cause. We can list these types of treatment as follows:

• Surgery in the womb or postpartum

• Rehabilitation process

How is Surgery Performed in the Womb?

We explained the open fetal surgery for spina bifida in detail in our next article. For detailed information, read the section on open fetal surgery.

What is postpartum surgery like?

Postpartum surgery is performed by pediatric neurosurgeons. Here we have compiled what can be done in the womb.

What is the rehabilitation process like?

Babies with spina bifida need support in many areas, whether they are operated in the womb or after the birth. For example, bladder and kidney functions should be evaluated by perdiatric urology. There will be physical therapy needs in terms of motor functions such as walking and sitting.


You can make your appointment with Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali Ekiz via the WhatsApp button.

Other Fetal Surgery Topics

Contact us to get information about Spina Bifida Open Fetal Surgery
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