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Fetal blood sampling, or cordocentesis, may be performed in situations where fetal blood is required to evaluate the baby. Cordocentesis involves guiding a needle through the abdomen to the umbilical cord to sample the baby’s blood, give a blood transfusion or administer special medication before birth.
Percutaneous fetal procedures use an ultrasound to guide a needle or needle-like instrument into the womb. For example, in cases of bladder outlet obstruction, a shunt (tiny flexible tube) may be placed in the fetal bladder to allow drainage of fluid into the amniotic cavity.
The EXIT (Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment) Procedure is a modified Cesarean delivery which requires an experienced multidisciplinary team of maternal fetal medicine and pediatric specialists. The goal is to partially deliver the baby while maintaining placental support to perform surgery before the baby is completely delivered. This allows continued oxygenation between mother and baby while the team performs all necessary treatments. An EXIT procedure may be used for conditions such as fetal neck mass or congenital airway obstruction.