A woman in the UK claims she had undergone a so-called "fetal repair" operation after learning that her baby had diagnosed spina bifida, a birth defect affecting the spine.
Bethan Simpson from Maldon, Essex, was informed that her unborn daughter Eloise has a spina bifida in December. At that time, Simpson said she had received three options: "Continued Pregnancy, End of Pregnancy [the]or a new option called a fetal surgery ̵
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The 26-year-old expectant mother opted for the third option – she was "one of the few" women in the UK, a correction underwent the defect, according to the BBC. Simpson claimed on Facebook that she was the fourth woman in the country undergoing surgery.
Spina bifida "occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly," says the Mayo Clinic.
"It falls under the broader category of neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord, as well as the tissue that encloses it. "Explains the Mayo Clinic.
However, if a part of the neural tube has not developed or closed properly, this is the case causing "defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine".
There are different types of states and their severity varies. According to estimates by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, spina bifida in the United States annually receives between an estimated 1,500 and 2,000 infants.
For Simpson, she and Eloise were admitted to pioneering surgery – a process that Simpson described as a "roller coaster" – the doctors spent about four hours correcting the baby's defect. They opened Simpson's womb to expose Eloise's leg. From there they "sewed" the small gap in the baby's lower spine and also The BBC reported that they had repositioned their spinal cord.
"We were successful, her lesion was small and she smashed surgery as if you did not believe it," wrote Simpson, who was 24 weeks on Facebook at the time of the operation.
"I'm fragile and sore, but as long as she's fine, we just take care of each other," she continued, adding, "They took her out of my stomach and let her in there to stay there for so long she can. "[1 9659007] Dominic Thompson, a neurosurgeon who led the operation, told the outlet that the procedure was" not a cure, "but pointed out that previous studies had shown" that the prospects for surgery early on are much
Indeed, According to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, "fetal surgery for spina bifida reduces the need to drain fluid from the brain, improves mobility, and improves the chances of a child walking on their own."
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Simpson considers her daughter due in April to be "special."
"I feel like our baby kicks me day after day. That has never changed. She is special. It is part of the story and our daughter has shown how much she has earned this life, "she wrote.