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Fetoscopic transuterine release of posterior urethral valves: a new technique.

Fetal urinary tract obstruction with oligohydramnios produces pulmonary hypoplasia and renal dysplasia. Decompression of the obstructed urinary tract may restore amniotic fluid and allow lung growth, but transabdominal catheter shunt decompression is often inadequate and does not allow for cycling of the bladder, while open procedures cause significant maternal morbidity. Disruption of the anatomic obstruction, usually posterior urethral valves in a male fetus, would be ideal but has proven technically difficult. Here we describe a new technique of percutaneous fetal cystoscopy and disruption of posterior urethral valves, and the case report of our first application of this technique. We pre-sent a case of a 17-week male fetus with posterior urethral valves which underwent fetal cystoscopy for mechanical disruption of posterior urethral valves. This minimally invasive approach to disruption of posterior urethral valves in a fetus is a novel method for decompressing the urinary tract. The technique offers a minimal degree of maternal morbidity and, if instituted early enough, can restore amniotic fluid volume, avert fatal pulmonary hypoplasia and may preserve renal function.

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