"We have made a number of advances in fetal surgery since Dr. Harrison pioneered the procedure at UCSF in the early 1980's," Fishman explained. "Minimally invasive techniques using a fetoscope and real-time imaging while we manipulate extremely small instruments has allowed us to expand the services we offer to the public significantly. So why not pierce some ears? Technically it's actually pretty damn easy."
Until fairly recently, placement of earrings prenatally would have had to be performed using an open procedure where the uterus and fetus were removed from the maternal abdomen for a period of time. Less invasive techniques, like the type being performed by Dr. Fishman at his Institute for Prenatal Aesthetics in Houston, reduce the mother's recovery time. And they decreases the likelihood of inducing preterm labor from probably to probably not.
|Baby Jennifer Ramirez, shown here at 34 weeks gestation, enjoying formula specially designed for premature infants|
Melinda Lederman, head of the NOPIERCE office in Houston, believes that the outer ear has medical benefits, such as helping to increase sensitivity to sound, and that interfering with its integrity for cosmetic purposes is barbaric. "I see this as a basic human rights issue," Lederman revealed. "You don't need to poke your pinna, to look like a winna!"
Some parents who have chosen to have the procedure done have had to develop a thick skin in the face of anti-piercing attacks on what they see as a parental right. Ramirez, who claims to have been targeted by NOPIERCE activists on several occasions, doesn't see what the fuss is all about. "It doesn't hurt any worse than getting a vaccination and my baby looks adorable."