• assisted reproductive technology;
  • birth defect;
  • meconium obstruction;
  • necrotizing enterocolitis;
  • neonatal surgery



Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased the incidences of multiple gestations and low birth weights, which frequently warrant pediatric surgery. ART may have also increased the rate of birth defects. In this study, we aimed to determine whether infants conceived after ART required neonatal surgery more frequently compared with naturally conceived infants.

Material and Methods

Our study population comprised 1891 infants (160 ART (+) and 1731 ART (−)) who were admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit during a 5-year period (January 2006–December 2010); of these, 198 infants (9 ART (+) and 189 ART (−)), with diseases requiring surgery, were referred to pediatric surgeons (consultation cases). We examined the following: (i) factors potentially increasing the requirement for surgery; (ii) frequency of birth defects; and (iii) maternal factors that may increase the need for surgery.


A significantly higher incidence of multiple gestation and low birth weight was observed in the ART (+) group than the ART (−) group. However, ART did not yield a higher rate of surgery and birth defects: overall, the rate of surgery was 4% (7/160) in the ART (+) group and 8% (143/1731) in the ART (−) group. Of 198 consultation cases, the percentage of infants actually requiring surgery was approximately the same in the ART (+) group (7/9 [78%]) and the ART (−) group (143/189 [76%]).


Infants conceived after ART comprised a small proportion of neonatal surgery cases, and did not require surgery more frequently.