Modern medical technology is doing wonderful things to help save babies’ lives before they are born. Recently, doctors in Texas saved an unborn baby girl from a life-threatening tumor by performing surgery on her while she was still in the womb.
CNN reports Margaret Boemer of Plano, Texas discovered something was wrong with her unborn daughter during her 16-week pregnancy scan.
“They saw something on the scan, and the doctor came in and told us that there was something seriously wrong with our baby and that she had a sacrococcygeal teratoma,” she said in an interview shared by Texas Children’s Hospital. “And it was very shocking and scary, because we didn’t know what that long word meant or what diagnosis that would bring.”
Sacrococcygeal teratoma is a life-threatening condition where a tumor grows on the unborn baby’s coccyx, or tailbone.
Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College Medicine, explained the tumor is dangerous because it takes away blood from the baby as it grows.
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“And in some instances, the tumor wins and the heart just can’t keep up and the heart goes into failure and the baby dies,” Cass said.
Boemer said some doctors suggested that she have an abortion, but she wanted to give her daughter a chance at life.
“At 23 weeks, the tumor was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumor to take over her body or giving her a chance at life,” the mother said. “It was an easy decision for us: We wanted to give her life.”
When doctors operated on the baby girl at almost 24 weeks of pregnancy, the tumor was almost as large as she was, according to the report. During the five-hour operation, the doctors said they made an incision in Margaret’s uterus and removed her unborn daughter. After removing the tumor, doctors said they placed the baby back in the womb and sealed the incision.
“Essentially, the fetus is outside, like completely out, all the amniotic fluid falls out, it’s actually fairly dramatic,” Cass said. “It’s kind of a miracle you’re able to open the uterus like that and seal it all back and the whole thing works.”
Lynlee Hope was born on June 6 after spending 36 weeks in the womb, according to CNN. Both she and her mother are home now and doing well.
Other new fetal surgical procedures have helped unborn babies who have spinal problems, heart problems and other potentially life-threatening or debilitating issues. These amazing new fetal surgical procedures help to demonstrate how valuable and deserving of protection unborn babies are.