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Amniotic Band Syndrome

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Amniotic band syndrome (ABS), a birth defect, can cause a range of deformities, including malformations of the arms, legs, hands, and digits. Symptoms are typically minor; however, there are cases of symptoms becoming more severe. With proper treatment by a skilled doctor, those with ABS can enjoy improved functioning of the affected body parts.

Causes of amniotic band syndrome

Amniotic band syndrome is caused by damage to a part of the placenta called the amnion. When damaged, the amnion may produce fibrous bands. If the amniotic bands wrap around and constrict parts of the developing fetus, this can prevent blood flow to those parts, causing them to develop abnormally. The syndrome usually affects the arms, legs, hands, fingers, and toes, although it can also cause deformities of the face, chest, and abdomen.

Symptoms of amniotic band syndrome

Symptoms of ABS are often relatively minor and may not require treatment, allowing sufferers to function normally. For those with severe symptoms, treatment is available.

Symptoms of amniotic band syndrome vary in severity and can include: 

  • Bands or indentations around arms, legs, hands, fingers, or toes. 
  • All or part of an arm, leg, finger, or toe missing. 
  • Defect of the abdomen or chest wall. 
  • Cleft palate and other abnormal facial gaps.

Treatment for amniotic band syndrome

Treatment for ABS depends on the severity of the symptoms. Most cases are relatively mild, have an excellent prognosis, and do not require treatment. In cases of severe deformity, surgical treatment may be necessary to reconstruct the damaged body part.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with amniotic band syndrome, contact your doctor for more information about treatment options. With proper medical attention by an experienced doctor, most sufferers can enjoy normal body functioning.

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