Amniotic bands are not surgical supplies, they cannot be forgotten in the womb

Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Faculty of Medicine of Akdeniz University, and president of the Turkish Association of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Antalya, Professor Dr. Selahattin Kumru, said that it is important that healthcare providers inform mothers who have launched campaigns to discredit doctors because, as women claim, they allegedly forget amniotic bands in women’s stomachs after surgeries. Dr. Kumru also added that the comparison of amniotic bands with gauze or patches in news reports is extremely erroneous. He stressed that amniotic bands are not surgical supplies that surgeons forget to remove after performing surgeries. Amniotic constrictions are connective fibrous threads that form inside the fetal bladder due to abnormalities in the development of pregnancy. According to Dr. Kumru: “Because of their name, our citizens think that amniotic bands are an expandable material that is forgotten after surgeries. You should know that this is not the case.”

News that surprises doctors

Dr. Kumru said that he was surprised by the news about the allegedly forgotten amniotic bands in the stomachs of women. “People have formed the opinion that amniotic bands are some kind of patches, scissors, tools, or tampons forgotten after surgery. However, amniotic bands are not something foreign that gets into the womb. This is a condition that occurs inside the fetal bladder with abnormalities in the development of pregnancy. That is, in such situations, there can be no question of forgotten tools.”

One case per 5-15 thousand births

Dr. Kumru said that ” this deviation is quite rare – one case per 5-15 thousand births. Amniotic bands, sticking to the fetus, cover some part of its body (arm, leg, or umbilical cord). With the growth of the fetus, the constriction, squeezing the place where it is located, begins to interfere with the normal flow of blood. For example, the formation of a constriction on the arm is fraught with a lack of blood flow and, as a result, abnormalities in the development of the limb. If it forms on the umbilical cord, the fetus can die from lack of oxygen and nutrients.”

Recognizable during ultrasound procedures

Most often, the presence of amniotic bands is detected during an ultrasound. According to Dr. Kumru, “in some pregnancies, the bands remain near the walls of the fetal bladder, without sticking to the baby, which does not create any problems. If they stick to one of the parts of the baby’s body, and doctors suspect that this interferes with normal blood circulation, a decision is made about the need for surgical intervention. This procedure is carried out using a camera, which allows you to determine the location of the band and cut it with special scissors. After that, the blood circulation returns to normal, which eliminates the problems of fetal development. This procedure is not risky. According to the existing literature on amniotic band syndrome, almost all cases of risk were associated with the onset of preterm birth (at 32-34 weeks instead of 40), which today, given the development of technology, is no longer a serious problem.”

The name that causes confusion

In conclusion, Dr. Kumru reiterated that ” amniotic bandages are not surgical supplies that surgeons forget to remove after performing operations. Amniotic constrictions are connective fibrous threads that form inside the fetal bladder due to abnormalities in the development of pregnancy. Because of their name, our citizens think that amniotic bandages are expendable material that is forgotten after surgery. You should know that this is not the case.”

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