It is a medical milestone achieved by a team from Boston. They managed to operate on a baby’s brain while the child was still in the womb.
An intervention that has never been successful before, as the team emphasizes.
Ultrasound scan reveals birth defects in baby
A little dream came true for Derek and Kenyatta from Louisiana when they found out they were about to be parents for the fourth time. The couple, who have been married for seven years, were looking forward to the family additionwhen they received a serious diagnosis. Because in the 30th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound scan shows that there is something unusual about your baby. “She [Die Ärztin] informed me that something was wrong with the baby’s brain and also the heart was enlarged” Kenyatta recalled to CNN. And soon after, the couple gets a serious diagnosis: Vein of Galen Malformation – VOGM for short. This is a defect that occurs when the blood vessel that carries blood from the brain to the heart does not develop properly. As a result, this same vein – the Vein of Galen – particularly heavily loaded which can lead to health problems.
The consequences of the disease are extreme. Because as soon as the babies are born, the brain injuries and the immediate heart failure after birth lead to major complications which unfortunately are often treated too late. 50 to 60 percent of all affected babies with this disease become very ill, emphasizes radiologist Dr. Darren Orbach to CNN. “And in those infants, the mortality rate is about 40 percent.” Of those infants who survive, some develop heart failure or damage to the brain.
Brain surgery in the womb succeeds!
But Derek and Kenyatta decide to look for a solution – and they find one clinical study, in which you can participate. And she tries to operate on the baby while it’s still in the womb. A month later, Kenyatta is already at the operating table and the medical team is trying to operate malformation. To do this, a needle is inserted through the abdominal wall. A catheter is then inserted, which fills the vein with the help of small metal spirals. That leads to the stressed vein has less pressure. It is a technique that has already been used in heart operations in utero – and here, too, shows immediate success. Because Kenyatta’s baby’s blood pressure drops immediately and shows signs of improvement.
The baby – a girl – is born just two days after the operation. And here too it becomes clear: the operation was successful! Because Denver, that’s the girl’s name, stays according to the medical team also stable at birth and does not require any of the treatments, which are expected at VOGM. A real success for the medical team, even if they are initially hesitant about the euphoria.
“The best thing was when she was born, seeing how well she was doing in the NICU and we all looked at each other and held each other,” says one of the doctors involved, Dr. Darren Orbach to “WBZ-TV”. “We weren’t sure when to party, because you just don’t see that in these babies. So that was really the moment where we knew everything was going to be okay.” And today, two months after the birth, Denver is still doing great. A little miracle for the family. “She showed us from the start that she is a fighter”Kenyatta said, “She showed… ‘Hey, I want to be here.'”
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