I made these 'learning posts' in June for Spina Bifida Awareness month, but thought I'd make a stand-alone blog so that if anyone is interested, all of the information is here. And I can add as I learn more about spina bifida as well!

Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect in North America. My son Nickolas was born November 13, 2009 with spina bifida and I have chronicalled our journey here, in my personal blog.

I hope you enjoy and learn something!

The information from this blog has been collected by myself to share what I have learned. It should in no way replace medical recommendations or consultation. This is for educational and information purposes only.

Start by picking a topic below:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Learning About SB: The Repair

I have a lot of people asking me how they fixed his back, but I didn’t really know how to answer. Then I found some pictures.

When you are pregnant, you wonder about what will happen in those first few days after he is born. And the answer is major surgery. A way to fix his back, this surgery will fix his back, but will not fix the nerves. In fact that first surgery can actually damage the nerves – that is one of the risks. But really there isn’t a choice.

A baby that was born with spina bifida has part of their spinal cords outside of their body and that needs to be cared for and repaired. It is called a myelomeningecele repair (MMC repair for short). Nickolas had his first major surgery when he was less than 24 hours old, and this surgery lasted almost 6 hours. I didn’t really know how it was repaired other than they put the spinal cord back in and covered it with muscle and skin. Well I found a couple of good pictures and thought – huh – this is how it was repaired (you learn something every day). Even though I had an idea, it was helpful to see pictures.

I do not have a picture of Nickolas’ lesion, I never thought of it at the time and wasn’t able to visit anyways (the joys of H1N1). There are pictures you can view online, some are large, some are small. But really it only looks like that for the first 24 hours and then it is repaired.

Nickolas has quite a big scar. and one part of it got infected, so it didn't heal very well, he stayed on his belly for 6 weeks until it cleared. And that part now has an indent of scar tissue when it healed. I think his scar looks beautiful now. I’m amazed at the work of the doctors, and his plastic surgeon.


  1. Those look like stitches?! Jet had stables - I wonder if its a doctor preference. And it looks as if Nicholas had a similarly large opening - did the doc mention the "y" shaped incision - our doc says it was necessary close it cause it was larger and there wasn't enough skin.

  2. Our neurosurgeon brought in a plastic surgeon to do a 'skin flap'. That was about the extent of what they told me about the scar. I hadn't realized it was unusual until a couple months ago.
    They told me his lesion was about 3cm in diameter, but I don't know about skin covering or not. Considering the size - I'd say not.