Certain fetal conditions, such as neck or chest masses, may cause your baby’s airway to be compressed, which will make it difficult or impossible for the baby to breathe after delivery. In these cases, doctors may perform an Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) procedure.
The mother is placed under general anesthesia, which relaxes the uterus and passes through to the baby. Like in a C-section, surgeons create an opening in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. The baby is partially delivered. While the baby is still receiving oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord (placental support), doctors will establish an airway so that the baby can breathe. At this point, the umbilical cord is clamped and the baby is fully delivered.
After the baby is delivered, neonatologists will begin caring for the baby. The mother usually remains in the hospital for several days to recover, as she would with a C-section.