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Health: Foetal Surgery

Volume 699: debated on Monday 18 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What provision for foetal surgery for babies affected by disabilities exists within the United Kingdom; how many babies have been treated; on what conditions it has been used; and how the service is being developed. [HL836]

Hospital episode statistics for England show that in 2006-07 192 operations were performed on a foetus in National Health Service hospitals in England. It is not possible to identify for which specific condition the foetus received the intervention. These procedures are uncommon and will be performed in a few highly specialist centres. They are carefully controlled and all cases should be audited and a review of the clinical outcomes for all patients should be undertaken. There are promising scientific developments in this area.