Overview of Spina Bifida Treatment India

Spina bifida is a defect of the neural tube. The neural tube is the structure that grows and forms the brain, spinal cord, and the coverings of these structures. In normal conditions, the neural tube closes after a month of conception and the normal development of the baby starts. But when the neural tube fails to close, the structure develops abnormally which can create complications of the spinal cord and the bones of the spine. Spina bifida can be of many types. Some types are mild and do not even cause symptoms but in severe cases of spina bifida, it can create serious complications. The treatment for the cases of mild spina bifida can be very successful but in severe conditions, even the surgical treatment cannot cure the disease completely. The cause of spina bifida can be a genetic factor or it can occur due to environmental factors or nutritional deficiencies. The symptoms of spina bifida depend on the severity of each patient and they can range from mild to very serious. Spina bifida can severely affect the life quality of the patient. Fortunately, spina bifida can be prevented by taking a balanced diet and a diet rich in folic acid. For this reason, pregnant women are advised to take folic acid in their diet.

Types of Spina Bifida Treatment India

Some of the types of treatments used for spina bifida are:

  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthopedic care
  • Symptoms management
  • Monitoring and Follow-up

Medications

Medications are used for the treatment of spina bifida. In this, medicines reduce the effect of symptoms and improve the life quality of patients.

Surgical Intervention

Spina bifida can be treated surgically when the surgeon can close the gap in the back of the baby. The main goal of this surgery is to prevent any further damage to the exposed spinal cord and nerves.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an important part of the treatment. This therapy helps patients to improve their mobility and balance and also strengthens their muscles. In Physical therapy exercises and interventions, physical therapists work with patients to maximize the overall quality of life.

Orthopedic Care

For some individuals with spina bifida, orthopedic care becomes necessary for a complete treatment plan. This may involve the use of braces and devices that help the patients to perform activities. Orthopedic care improves the function of joints and muscles and helps the patient perform different activities with greater ease.

Managing Symptoms

Many individuals with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain. Spina bifida patients also have the problem of managing bowel and bladder function. To manage these complications, healthcare professionals use different techniques and surgical methods.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Managing spina bifida is a lifelong journey. Regular medical checkups with a team of specialists are an important part of care. These check-ups allow for the continuous monitoring of the health of patients and prevent any complications.

Diagnosis of Spina Bifida Treatment India

Some of the methods to diagnose spina bifida are:

Tests during pregnancy

Blood Test: During pregnancy, a blood test can check for higher levels of a substance called alpha-fetoprotein. High levels might suggest spina bifida, but it does not confirm the diagnosis.
Ultrasound: after 18-20 weeks in pregnancy, an ultrasound scan creates pictures of the developing baby. It can provide information if there are any issues with the spine of the baby.

Confirmatory Tests

Amniocentesis: If screening tests indicate a higher risk, doctors may suggest amniocentesis. This test involves taking a sample of amniotic fluid for more precise testing.

After Birth

Physical Examination: After the baby is born, doctors carefully check for physical signs like a sac on the back or problems with moving the legs.
Imaging: X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or CT (Computed Tomography) scans may be used to get detailed pictures of the spine and confirm the diagnosis.

Cost of Spina Bifida Treatment in India

The cost of spina bifida treatment in India ranges from 1500 USD to 7000 USD. The cost can vary according to the severity of the condition. The cost can also vary according to the need for supportive care and management of complications.

Treatment Costs in India Min in USD Max in USD
Medications 700 USD 1500 USD
Surgery 5500 USD 7000 USD
Physical Therapy 1200 USD 2200 USD

Symptoms and Risk factors

Some of the symptoms of spina bifida are as follows:
Mild:

  • A small gap in the bones of the lower back
  • A small birthmark or dimple over the affected area

Moderate:

  • A visible, fluid-filled sac on the back
  • Mild to moderate neurological symptoms
  • Minimal damage to the spinal cord

Severe:

  • A visible sac filled with fluid from the brain 
  • Nerve roots protruding from the back of the baby
  • Paralysis of the legs
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Hydrocephalus

Risk factors of Spina Bifida

Some of the risk factors of spina bifida are described below:

Family History

Individuals with a family history of spina bifida are at a higher risk. If a close family member has the condition of spina bifida, the risk of developing the disease increases.

Maternal Nutrition

A lack of folic acid in the diet before and during early pregnancy is a major risk factor for spina bifida. Folic acid is important for the development of the neural tube and inadequate intake can increase the risk of spina bifida.

Medications

Certain medications that are used for the treatment of seizures and other specific conditions can increase the risk of spina bifida. Pregnant women should not take any medications without the prescription of a healthcare professional.

Diabetes

Women with high levels of blood sugar before and during pregnancy may have an increased risk of having a baby with spina bifida.

Obesity

Obesity is another risk factor for spina bifida. Maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy can help in reducing the risk.

Environmental Factors

Long-term exposure to certain environmental factors and toxins during pregnancy may contribute to an increased risk of developing neural tube defects including spina bifida.

Treatment Costs for Spina Bifida

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