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Pediatric Spina Bifida Program

Our multidisciplinary program brings together a team of experts to offer compassionate care to children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Children with these neural tube defects have varying degrees of central nervous system problems, as well as difficulties with bladder and bowel control and lower limb movement. Our pediatric neurologists work with neurosurgeons, orthopaedists, urologists, physical therapists, nurses, dietitians, and social workers to provide long-term support and a coordinated care plan to children with spina bifida and their families.

Spina bifida occurs early in embryo development—often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. It is commonly diagnosed prenatally by ultrasound screening, and our team works closely with the Yale’s maternal-fetal medicine section for prenatal consultations. Infants with spina bifida are usually delivered by cesarean section at a medical center, such as Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, that is equipped with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and staffed by a specialized neurosurgical team to repair the opening around the spinal cord shortly after birth.