Skip Navigation
Holtz Children's Hospital

Comprehensive Spina Bifida Program

Last Visited »

Any family who has faced a chronic or congenital disease understands that hospital-based care is a regular part of life. For children with spina bifida or spinal cord birth defects, comprehensive, compassionate care is the key to a successful future. The Comprehensive Spina Bifida Program at Holtz Children’s Hospital offers patients direct access to a multidisciplinary team of pediatric experts – all in one centralized location. This program provides comprehensive evaluation and long-term management of infants, children, and teens with spina bifida and spinal cord injuries.

For the convenience of our patients, we have created a family-friendly environment that allows the patient to be seen by several specialists in one visit. After each visit, the medical team discusses each patient’s evaluation and creates a plan for continuing care.

Our team is comprised of pediatric experts from the following disciplines:

  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Pediatric urology
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Nephrology
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Dietary services
  • Psychology and social work specialists
  • Internal Medicine - Pediatrics

About Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which an area of the spinal column doesn’t form properly, leaving a section of spinal cord and spinal nerves exposed through an opening in the back. Spina bifida is a common neurological condition that affects an estimated 1,500 babies each year in the U.S. Children with this condition often experience urological issues such as bladder and bowel dysfunction, as well as orthopedic malformations or neurological problems. With the coordination of care provided by a clinic setting, patients receive the support of all related specialists in one convenient location.

Prenatal Consultation

Spina bifida is one of the most common types of neural tube defect that affects 7 out of 10,000 live births in the U.S. each year. Typically detected during pregnancy, accurate diagnosis is essential in planning adequate treatment. The spina bifida multidisciplinary team partners with our network of maternal fetal medicine physicians to conduct prenatal consultations. Further testing includes:

  • Maternal MRIs
  • Amniocentesis
  • Genetic counseling
  • Prenatal ultrasounds
  • Blood tests

Expectant mothers can count on the support of one of the nation’s most experienced medical teams who work with a full range of therapies. Jackson Memorial Hospital has been designated as a Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center by the state of Florida for its expertise in high-risk pregnancies.

To learn more about fetal care and high-risk maternal fetal medicine at Jackson Health System, click here or call 305-585-6636.

Neonatal Care

Holtz Children’s Hospital is home to one of the largest and most advanced neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in the state of Florida. As a Level III NICU, a full-service medical staff is available 24 hours a day. In collaboration with the medical team of the spina bifida program, neonatal experts support the creation of a coordinated care plan for each patient.

Lifetime Care

In addition, as your child grows into a teenager and young adult, the team at Holtz Children’s can help them transition to adult care from resident experts at Jackson Memorial Hospital. A dedicated care coordinator can assist with the child’s developmental needs and prepare them for physical and occupational therapy.

A pediatric internal medicine physician is available for assistance with well visits, vaccinations, and other tests, as well as to provide family members support with any social or behavioral challenges at school or at home. Our goal is to provide the support necessary to strengthen the child and help them lead a life as independent as possible.

Physician Team

Pediatric Neurosurgery
Sarah Jernigan, MD

Pediatric Urology
Alireza Alam, MD

Pediatric Orthopedics
Stephen Stricker, MD

Internal Medicine – Pediatrics
Toni Eyssallenne, MD, PhD

Contact Us

The spina bifida clinic meets every first Tuesday of the month from 1 - 4 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, please call 305 585-3627.

Jackson Memorial Hospital
1080 N.W. 19th Street
Batchelor Center of Urology
Central Building, Suite 150
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305 585-3627
Fax: 305 585-3322
Email: holtz.spinabifida@jhsmiami.org

ToolsFeedback