Journal of pediatric surgery vol:31 issue:2 pages:310-4
Open fetal surgery predictably results in postoperative uterine contractions and often in premature labor, but its intraoperative effects on the uterus are not known. In 10 pregnant ewes (108 to 115 days' gestation), uterine artery flow, uterine venous oxygen saturation, arterial saturation, and uterine electromyography were recorded simultaneously (control). Six ewes underwent a stapled hysterotomy, and four underwent placement of three endoscopic surgery cannulas and amnioinfusion. Uterine contractions were present 52% of the time (range, 34% to 72%), and there was no significant difference between control, hysterotomy, and endoscopic access. Uterine artery blood flow and uteroplacental oxygen delivery at rest decreased (to 73% of control) after hysterotomy (P < .05), but not after endoscopy. Fetal + uteroplacental oxygen consumption did not differ significantly between the groups. In conclusion, (1) uteroplacental oxygen delivery after hysterotomy alone decreased to levels critical for adequate fetal oxygenation; (2) endoscopy did not alter uteroplacental oxygen delivery; and (3) during open fetal surgery, further oxygen demand/delivery mismatch is likely, by traction on uterine and umbilical vessels and fetal stress.