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.

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Thoracoamniotic Shunt

What is Thoracoamniotic Shunt?

Thoracoamniotic shunt is a surgery to create a shunt that allows the passage of fluid between the lung cavity of the fetus and the amniotic (amniotic fluid) fluid. In this article, we have compiled what you need to know about thoracoamniotic shunt.

What to Know About Thoracoamniotic Shunt?

During a normal pregnancy, amniotic fluid must move in and out of the lungs so that the fetus’s lungs can develop. However, in some cases, the lungs are under pressure from outside or inside and cannot take in amniotic fluid and fail to develop. There are two main reasons. The first are lung masses, CPAM (congenital lung airway malformations) and pulmonary sequestration. The second reason is fluid accumulation around one or both lungs.

Why is Thoracoamniotic Shunt Surgery Needed?

1. Lung masses: Some masses formed in the lungs accumulate fluid within themselves and create a mass effect there. Thanks to this pressure, the remaining lung tissue collapses under the influence of this pressure and cannot develop.

2. Pleurisy or pleural effusion: accumulation of fluid around one or both lungs can cause the lungs to collapse. If it is unilateral, it can cause serious pressure on the heart and cause the loss of the baby. If left untreated, whether unilateral or bilateral, it may cause a severe condition called hydrops fetalis that may lead to the loss of the baby.


How to Detect Lung Abnormalities?

Lung problems of the fetus in the womb are detected in a detailed ultrasound performed by a perinatologist. At this stage, the week of pregnancy at which the detection is made is important. First of all, the presence of genetic disease in these fetuses is investigated. Afterwards, the need for treatment is determined in the womb.

Birth is a good alternative for fetuses close to term, but treatment in the womb is considered, especially for fetuses detected before 28 weeks. Treatment in the womb gives the baby the opportunity to develop better in the womb.

The opinion of a perinatologist is very valuable in evaluating all these options.

How Are Lung Anomalies Treated?

Pleural effusion is a medical condition that describes abnormal fluid accumulation in the chest cavity of the fetus. This condition can affect the normal development of the baby’s lungs and lead to serious complications. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the condition, the progress of the pregnancy, and the general health of the baby. We can list the pleural effusion treatment options as follows:

• Close Monitoring: If the condition is mild and the baby’s heart is not affected, only monitoring and close monitoring can be done. During pregnancy, the baby’s development and lung condition are monitored with regular ultrasound.

• Fetal surgery: In cases where pleural effusion is severe, thoracoamniotic shunt surgery is considered. This surgical intervention is performed under local anesthesia. A tube system is placed that carries the fluid accumulated in the lung cavity to the amniotic cavity. Fetal surgery is a risky procedure and therefore should be performed by an experienced perinatologist.

What are the Risks of Thoracoamniotic Shunt?

There are some risks in thoracoamniotic shunt surgery. We can list these risks as follows:

• Fetal surgery risks: Surgical interventions involve risks such as infection, bleeding, and amniotic fluid leakage.

• Risk of preterm birth: Fetal surgery or other medical interventions may increase the risk of preterm birth. Premature birth involves risks of prematurity due to the baby’s lungs not being fully developed. The baby’s need for intensive care is a risk in itself.

• Fetal injury: During the operation, the fetus’s chest cavity is entered. For these reasons, there is a possibility of injury to the chest wall, lungs and heart.

• Failed shunt: No matter how experienced a perinatologist is, the condition may not be placed in place.

• Obstruction or slippage of the condition: Even if the shunt operation is successful, it may become blocked because the pipe system is too small, or it may slip into the rib cage or into the amniotic cavity and become ineffective. For all these reasons, the process may need to be repeated.

Such situations are among the risks of thoracoamniotic shunt.

You can contact Prof. Dr. Ali Ekiz for thoracoamniotic shunt surgery.


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

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