Foetal repair surgery

An unborn baby has undergone pioneering foetal repair surgery at 24 weeks old, while still in her mothers womb.

The unborn child, a girl named Eloise, was diagnosed with spina bifida at her mothers 20 week scan.

Initially advised to consider a termination following a series of tests and scans, it was decided by both parents and surgeons to attempt a spinal repair.

The operation involved opening the womb and repairing a hole at the bottom of the baby’s spinal cord and took 4 hours to complete.

While foetal repair has been carried out more frequently in America, this is only the fourth time such an operation has been completed in the UK. From April the procedure will be available on the NHS and could help the two hundred babies born each year with spina bifida.

The operation on Eloise was considered a success. Eloise is due in April.

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