Doctors at Amrita Hospital, Kochi, have achieved a significant breakthrough by successfully operating on a pregnant woman’s foetus and saving the unborn child. The 21-week pregnant woman’s foetus had a giant tumour in the right lung that was pressing on its heart and the normal left lung. Due to the tumour, the foetus had developed heart failure and if not treated in time, it would have caused death. The mother too would have faced a health hazard known as ‘mirror syndrome’. If not treated, the foetal problem would have put the lives of both the mother and baby at risk.
Doctors at Amrita, led by Paediatric Surgeon Dr. Mohan K. Abraham, Foetal Medicine Consultant Dr. Vivek Krishnan, Foetal Anaesthetist Dr. Rekha Varghese and Gynaecologist Dr. Sarala Sreedhar performed a rare intra-uterine foetal procedure to block the blood supply to this tumour using laser therapy.
After the surgery, the baby is doing fine with the tumour 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.