Norm of Fetoscopy

Normal fetal development. Absence of neural tube defects.


Usage of Fetoscopy

Diagnosis of malformation of the fetus. Detection of neural tube defect. Blood samples may be obtained to test for sickle cell anemia and hemophilia.


Description of Fetoscopy

Fetoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows direct examination of the fetus by means of the fetoscope.


Professional Considerations of Fetoscopy

Consent form IS required.

Abortion or premature labor; amnionitis (antibiotics may be given prophylactically to prevent this complication).
Anteriorly placed placenta, bleeding disorder, hypertensive crisis, incompetent cervix, history of spontaneous abortion or premature labor.



  1. To prevent excessive fetal activity during the procedure, the mother may be given meperidine (Demerol), which crosses the placenta and quiets the fetus.
  2. Obtain a local anesthetic and a fetoscopy tray.
  3. Just before beginning the procedure, take a “time out” to verify the correct client, procedure, and site.



  1. The abdominal wall of the mother is anesthetized with a local anesthetic.
  2. An ultrasound examination is then used to locate the fetus and placenta.
  3. A small incision is made in the abdominal wall, and the fetoscope is inserted through the abdominal wall into the amniotic cavity. The fetus is visualized for obvious malformations, such as neural tube defects.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Apply a dry, sterile dressing to the fetoscopy site.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. This procedure poses risks (listed above).
  2. A local anesthetic will be used to prevent pain. The client will feel pressure as the fetoscope is inserted.
  3. The test takes about 40 minutes.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Excessive movement of the mother may obscure results.


Other Data

  1. None.