Study: Major benefits for spina bifida surgery in the womb
(CNN) -- Right before Christmas 2002, Tara Hallman was told her 20-week-old fetus had spina bifida, a common birth defect of the spine.
There is no cure, only treatment, so some parents choose to end the pregnancy. If the pregnancy is carried to term, the newborn needs an operationa few days later, so the spinal cord can be pushed back into the spinal column.
Hallman was presented with a third option: Doctors could operate on her baby while it was still in the womb.
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine says that if a baby is operated on while still in the uterus, the most serious complications of the worst form of spina bifada, myelomeningocele, can be lessened. (read the rest at the link)
There is a photo at the top of this article of a tiny 22 week old fetuse's hand grasping the doctors finger. So I liked the article for that of course and also for the type of surgery they are doing having known a number of children and adults who were born with one or both of these birth defects. Surgery on an unborn baby isn't anything new of course...but I am glad they figured out how to help these babies before their condition gets worse while waiting to be born. Its just a really nice story.