Spina Bifida Treatment Cost In United Arab Emirates

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Spina bifida is a congenital disability when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. This is a kind of birth defect that affects the neural tube. The neural tube is a structure in an unborn baby that develops into the brain, spinal cord, and surrounding tissues.

When the neural tube doesn't close all the way, the backbone protecting the spinal cord does not form and close as it should. This often results in damage to the nerves and the spinal cord.

The two main spina bifida treatment options are fetal surgery during pregnancy or surgery on the baby right after birth.

Spina Bifida surgery after birth (Postnatal Spina Bifida Repair)  

During postnatal spina bifida surgery, your pregnancy is monitored, and a cesarean delivery is scheduled at 37 weeks.

  • Usually, spina bifida is treated through a surgical procedure within 24-48 hours after the baby is born
  • Your child will undergo general anesthesia
  • If present, the myelomeningocele (MMC) sac is removed by the Pediatric Neurosurgeon 
  • To protect the spinal cord, the specialist closes the surrounding tissue and skin over the defect
  • Post-surgery, the baby receives care in our Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU)

Spina Bifida surgery before birth (Prenatal Spina Bifida Repair)  

Prenatal repair of MMC prevents further damage as spinal cord damage progresses during gestation.

A prenatal repair could offer significantly better results than traditional postnatal repair:

  • It helps decrease the necessity of draining fluid from the brain through ventricular shunting
  • It reduces the incidence/severity of neurological effects, including impaired motor and sensory function of the legs
  • It improves mobility and the chances that a child will be able to walk independently 
  • It reverses the hindbrain herniation component of the Arnold-Chiari II malformation

Inclusions in the package

The cost of Spina Bifida treatment includes the following:

  • Preoperative diagnostic tests cost, including Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) tests, maternal blood tests, and blood tests.
  • Surgery cost
  • Post-Operative cost (depends on the number of follow-up sessions)
  • Medicine cost (anti-inflammatory, painkillers, etc.)
  • Patient's hospital stay

Factors affecting cost of Spina Bifida Treatment

The overall cost of the procedure also varies based on the patient's condition and preferences. Some of these factors are:

  • Type of hospital and room opted (General, Twin sharing, or Single room)
  • The severity of the disease
  • Post-surgical complication, if it happens (such as Infection, bleeding, etc.)
  • Cost of blood products (if required)
  • Age of the patient
  • An extended stay at the hospital
  • Post-operational physiotherapy sessions 
  • Cost of accommodation during follow-ups, in case the patient is not a local resident

Frequently asked questions related to expenses that most patients have when planing for Spina Bifida Treatment.

What is the cost of tests for spina bifida treatment?

Certain tests are done before a spina bifida treatment, such as maternal blood tests, ultrasound, and maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) test. The cost for these tests is generally included in the package.

Is the medicine cost included in the package?

All the medicines bought during the stay in the hospital are included in the package. When the patient is discharged, any medicines consumed outside the hospital are not covered in the package.

How long does the patient stay in the hospital after spina bifida treatment?

Babies who undergo post-natal surgery for spina bifida remain in the hospital for one to three weeks. After the surgery, the baby needs to spend 3-4 hours in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit and then be monitored in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The surgeon needs to see the baby for follow-up four to six weeks after he goes home. The baby needs to visit sooner if stitches need to be removed. 

List of Centers for Spina Bifida Treatment in United Arab Emirates

Popular Cities in United Arab Emirates for Spina Bifida Treatment are:

Doctors for Spina Bifida Treatment in United Arab Emirates

Children with Spina Bifida are often cared for by various medical professionals, including a Neurologist, Orthopaedist, and Physical Therapist.

Listing popular specialists:

Dr. Fadel Fouad Gendy

Dr. Fadel Fouad Gendy

Senior Consultant, 34 years of experience

Location Prime Hospital, Dubai

Low back pain Prolapsed intervertebral disc Spinal trauma Spinal tumors Spinal fixation Brain tumors Head trauma Brain hemorrhage Stroke Epilepsy Congenital anomalies of the brain and spinal cord in children

Dr Rahul Amunje Mally

Dr Rahul Amunje Mally

Consultant, 15 years of experience

Location NMC Speciality Hospital, Abu Dhabi

Traumatic Head Injury, Glioma, Vertebral Hemangioma, Tremors, Herniated Disc.

Dr. Al Mutasim Bellah Khamees Etaiwi

Dr. Al Mutasim Bellah Khamees Etaiwi

Senior Consultant, 19 years of experience

Location Saudi German Hospital Ajman

Encephalocele, Myelomenengocele, Cranioplasty, Menengocele, Sacrococcegial teratoma.

Success Rate

Prenatal surgery significantly improves the rate of ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement (44% prenatal surgery versus 84% postnatal), hindbrain herniation at 12 months of age (64% prenatal versus 96% postnatal), and independent walking at 30 months of age (45% prenatal versus 24% postnatal).

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