What is amniotic band syndrome?
Amniotic band syndrome is a malformation caused by constriction of fetal limbs or umbilical cord and is associated with amniotic bands. The causes are unclear. Rupture of the amniotic membrane is discussed as a cause. Amniotic band syndrome may be seen more frequently in chronic intrauterine infection, including after rupture of the membranes.
How is amniotic band syndrome treated?
Single amniotic bands without compression of the fetal extremities or umbilical cord often do not require intrauterine treatment. Regular ultrasound monitoring is advised.
In case of incipient signs of fetal limb or umbilical cord compression, laser can be used to separate the amniotic bands already intrauterine.
How is the laser surgery performed?
Laser separation of the amniotic band is performed after application of local anesthesia of the abdominal wall.
Ultra-thin 1 mm optics is used to reduce the risk of premature rupture of membranes after fetoscopy. The amniotic band is visualized and carefully cut with the laser.
What are the complications?
The complication rate is very low with experienced fetal surgeons.
The most common complication is amniotic fluid leakage through the minimally invasive approach to the uterus. By reducing the injury to the amniotic membrane through the use of the ultra-thin technique, this complication can be reduced several times over.
Other extremely rare complications such as hemorrhage, umbilical cord injury, fetal injury, and infection are described in the literature.