Advances in prenatal diagnosis have led to the prenatal management of a variety of congenital diseases. Fetal surgery was born of clinical necessity. Observations by pediatric surgeons and neonatologists of neonates that were born with irreversible organ damage led to the conclusion that one possible approach to prevent this alteration of developmental physiology, was fetal surgical intervention. The demonstration in animal models that the correction of an anatomical defect could reverse the associated pathophysiology led to the first systematic application of fetal surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, in the early 1980s . There has been a dramatic improvement in our ability to diagnose, select and safely operate on an expanding number of fetal anomalies. Many fetal interventions remain investigational but for a number of conditions randomized trials have established the role of in utero surgery, making fetal surgery a clinical reality in a number of fetal therapy programs. Although prenatal stem cell and gene therapy await clinical application, they offer tremendous potential for the treatment of many genetic disorders. Here we review the prenatal evaluation, current status and future potential of various prenatal operative approaches, such as open hysterotomy, fetoscopy, and percutaneous, including tissue engineering, and prenatal cellular and genetic therapy.