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Rare Intra-uterine fetal procedure at AIMS

The 21-week pregnant woman’s fetus had a giant tumor

Doctors at AIMS (Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences), Kochi have achieved a significant breakthrough by successfully operating a pregnant woman’s fetus and saving the unborn child. The 21-week pregnant woman’s fetus had a giant tumor in the right lung that was pressing on its heart and the normal left lung. Due to the tumor, the fetus had developed heart failure and if not treated on time, it would have caused death. The mother too would have faced a health hazard known as ‘mirror syndrome’. If not treated, the fetal problem would have put the lives of both the mother and baby at risk.

Doctors at Amrita, led by pediatric surgeon Dr Mohan Abraham, fetal medicine consultant Dr Vivek Krishnan, fetal anaesthetist Dr Rekha Varghese and gynaecologist Dr Sarala Sreedhar performed a rare intra-uterine fetal procedure to block the blood supply to this tumor using laser therapy.

After the surgery, the baby is doing fine with the tumor shrinking to half of its volume in one week, the heart failure almost completely resolved and pregnancy continuing. According to the doctors, this procedure is a major milestone in the treatment of congenital problems before birth.