Journal of Pediatric Surgery vol:46 issue:1 pages:22-32
In isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia, prenatal prediction is made based on measurements of lung size and the presence of liver herniation into the thorax. A subset of fetuses likely to die in the postnatal period is eligible for fetal intervention that can promote lung growth. Rather than anatomical repair, this is now attempted by temporary fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion (FETO). Herein we describe purpose-designed instruments that were developed thanks to a grant from the European Commission. The feasibility and safety of FETO have now been demonstrated in several active fetal surgery programs. The most frequent complication of the procedure is preterm premature rupture of the membranes, which is probably iatrogenic in nature. It does have an impact on gestational age at delivery and complicates balloon removal. FETO is associated with an apparent increase in survival compared with same severity controls, although this needs to be evaluated in a formal trial. The time has come to do so.