Amniotic band syndrome is diagnosed by the neonatologist after birth or by the ultrasonologist prenatally during fetal ultrasound. If there is a suspicion, the baby may be referred to other specialists for appropriate treatment as needed.
Depending on the abnormalities present, consultation may involve a pediatric surgeon orthopedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, neurosurgeon or a craniofacial team if craniofacial defects are present.
2. Can amniotic bands disappear after formation?
The bands are visible as thin, mobile threads, which may be seen attached to or surrounding the baby. The good news is that upto 70% of amniotic bands disappear on follow-up ultrasound, either due to compression or rupture.
3. What are ‘innocent’ amniotic bands?
If there is no other abnormality detected other than the amniotic band during the ultrasound scan, it is reassuring. Also, if fetal movements are normal and the band is not attached to the baby, the bands are unlikely to be harmful. These are termed innocent amniotic bands.
4. Can amniotic bands result in fetal death?
There are different types of amniotic bands with varying degrees of severity. The most severe forms affecting multiple organ systems can cause fetal death.
5. Is the finding of amniotic bands synonymous with diagnosis of ABS?
No. If amniotic bands are present without any associated fetal abnormality, it does not constitute amniotic band syndrome.
6. Is ABS harmful to the mother?
No. ABS does not harm the mother.
7. What is an amniotic sheet?
Amniotic sheets are a type of membrane abnormality seen more commonly, with an incidence of 0.6%. As the membranes develop, they envelop preexisting scar tissue in the uterus leading to sheet like projections. These are not associated with fetal abnormalities. However, they have been found to be associated with an increased risk of early labor.
8. Will amniotic band syndrome affect other pregnancies?
No. It is not a genetic condition and extremely rare that future babies will get affected.
9. What is the longterm prognosis of ABS for the baby?
The longterm prognosis depends on the severity of abnormalities and the facilities available for treating the associated abnormalities.