Aim Fetal surgery is increasingly performed in many centers. Nevertheless, in most cases, analgesic treatment is still absent with the risk of brain damage in the newborn, due to the sudden rise in blood pressur and intracranial pressure due to pain. We performed a review on the present state of direct fetal analgesia, to show the importance to prevent pain and consequently newborns’ brain damage in these cases.
Methods We performed a pubmed search to retrieve the research papers that reported studies of fetal surgery in the last 10 years, and in which a careful description of the type of analgesic treatment is reported.
Results We retrieved 38 papers, 3 of which did not sensibly hurt the fetus, being performed on fetal annexes, and 2 performed in the first trimester, when fetal pain is negligible. Of the 33 remaining papers, only 14 were performed using a direct fetal analgesia. No drawbacks were reported.
Conclusion Fetal direct analgesia though safe, is still performed only in less than half of cases. An implementation of its use is needed, to prevent brain damages in the newborns.