WHAT IS NEONATAL SURGERY?
At the heart of the Blaauwberg Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a comprehensive team of highly skilled paediatric surgeons, with Prof Sidler as the head surgeon. Coupled with exceptional paediatric anaesthetists this team of specialists is able to address all manners of antenatally diagnosed surgical conditions, as well as post delivery complications that are related to prematurity.
Dr Dippenaar’s Blaauwberg NICU is very fortunate to partner as a satellite facility to Prof AS Shaik, a Durban based fetal surgeon who can provide intrauterine procedures and surgeries that drastically improve post delivery outcomes.
HOW NEONATAL SURGERY WORKS
It is preferred to take a planned non-emergency approach when conducting neonatal surgery. In order to achieve this a large proportion of diagnoses occur antenatally or very shortly after birth.
This provides breathing space for Dr Dippenaar and his medical team to prepare and stabilise the infant (particularly if it is premature) and frees time for the key role players to generate a relationship with the parents and provide counseling on what is to come.
These investigations will provide us with the best viable options in order to proceed. Diagnostic tests to assist with this can vary from simple blood tests to detailed MRI and CT scans that require the paediatric anaesthetic teams involvement from an early stage.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
To ensure a continuity of care in pre and post-operative optimisation, infants will not leave the supervision of a neonatologist at any time, including anaesthesia and surgery. During a team-planning meeting prior to major surgery, a flow of order is structured to allow each key role player sufficient time to perform their duties under the collective guidance of neonatologist, Dr Dippenaar.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Antenatally diagnosed conditions should be confirmed at a fetal assessment facility. On confirmation, a counseling session can be booked with Dr Dippenaar to discuss: condition, expected course, complication, risk and timing of the delivery. In complicated cases the entire team of specialists will be called to sit in the meeting.