Surgeons repair spina bifida in fetus for 1st time in Canada

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15 Nov 2017 06:40 - +1874
Drastically reduces the need for aides and surgical intervention later in life. Cool!
15 Nov 2017 06:16 - +618
Very cool read. I wish you the best baby Eiko
15 Nov 2017 06:38 - +574
I have niece that had this surgery performed on her daughter when she was in her 5th month of pregnancy. The baby girl was delivered by c-section a month early, then kept in the hospital's NICU a couple more weeks. The baby is about 3 months old now and so far, so good. No apparent problems with her legs, no bowel or bladder problems. (When it was apparent she had none of those problems, that allowed her to be released from NICU and the hospital in Cincinnati. She did stay in a childrens hospital in Indiana another week due to feeding issues since she also has a cleft palate. As a fetus the baby did have a brain malformation developing, but that also reversed itself after the spinal surgery. My niece (an baby before birth) spent 3 months in a Ronald McDonald House so she could be close to the hospital and doctors in Cincinnati in case any problems occurred before birth. So thanks to the childrens hospital and to Ronald McD baby J has had a great outcome so far.
15 Nov 2017 07:37 - +514
My daughter had this surgery done two and a half years ago in Houston. Her defect is quite large, so it's unlikely she will ever walk without leg braces, and she does require intermittent cathing throughout the day, but she is undoubtedly better off than she would have been had we waited until she was born to have the surgery. With this surgery, you ideally see motor and sensory improvements up to two levels of the spinal cord. For example, my daughter's defect starts at L3, but with the surgery, she will hopefully have improved neurological function up to the L5 level. And while this doesn't seem like much, it can mean the difference between walking independently and being wheelchair bound. The most important benefit of the surgery, however, is the reduction in the rates of hydrocephalus, or swelling in the brain, which can be devastating. After the surgery, my daughter's hydrocephalus vastly improved, and although she still eventually required a shunt(drain) to relieve some excess pressure in her brain, she's going to lead a cognitively normal life, which was my biggest desire for her. It's truly amazing what we can accomplish with modern medicine. One of the hospitals was even attempting this repair laparoscopically, which means not having to open the uterus all the way up. Not sure what progress they have made on it though. Lastly, women of child bearing age, please take daily folic acid vitamins. A majority of cases of spina bifida can simply be prevented with just one or two pills a day.
15 Nov 2017 07:01 - +142
And, because it was in Canada, it was all at no cost to the parents. Freeee, I tell you, freeee!
15 Nov 2017 07:08 - +121
This is a huge thing. Spina bifida is one of the absolute worst defects. If you don't die in infancy you have the chance to die at any time after your early life. If we could get rid of it completely, it would be a miracle.
15 Nov 2017 07:52 - +29
We've been doing this in Philadelphia at UPenn for nearly a decade and a half now, it really is phenomenal work.
15 Nov 2017 08:49 - +16
Whoa! Definitely wish this could've been a thing in the 80s when my sister was born. It would have prevented a lot of future medical distress! (I should note that she's 32 now and does pretty well 95% of the time.) All that being said, I'm so grateful for these advancements.
15 Nov 2017 07:23 - +12
I've worked with some children with spina bif. Curing that is huge. I wish it could be retroactive for the kids who live with the effects now.
15 Nov 2017 05:30 - +9
Cool that
15 Nov 2017 08:29 - +9
Eli5 on what this defect is?
15 Nov 2017 09:06 - +9
Glad Canadians can now get surgery without going to US. US did their first in utero repair in 1997
15 Nov 2017 08:54 - +7
My daughter was born with spina bifida but one of the more minor forms. We had numerous ultrasounds with no knowledge and a normal folate level. It was really a shock but she had surgery at one year to prevent tethering of her spinal cord and hopefully only one more appointment at the Spina bifida clinic. This article really made my day.
15 Nov 2017 05:38 - +6
Straight up awesome.
15 Nov 2017 10:18 - +5
My fiancé has spina bifida and loved this! His was triggered at age 12 or so when he fell off of his bike onto an uneven sidewalk piece, which hit his last disc on his back hard enough to cause extreme pain. Went to the doc and was diagnosed as having this condition. Luckily, he is still able to walk- if he had hurt it any worse than he did, he wouldn’t be able to walk. His back causes major problems. He cannot sleep well and his back is constantly aching. He is supposed to take pain meds but smokes pot because he got sick of the pills. He’s very active. He does parkour and installs flooring as a living. I’m lucky to know this about him so that when I conceive I can get testing and take all my folic acid to prevent :)
15 Nov 2017 07:21 - +5
When was the first time in other countries?
15 Nov 2017 08:40 - +5
Great achievement. Some more info: This has already been done several times in the States. This surgery decreases the chances of complications associated with the condition in the future, however it does not eliminate potential complications.
15 Nov 2017 09:54 - +5
They have been doing this at CHOP for years.
15 Nov 2017 09:11 - +4
Fun Fact of the day John Cougar Mellencamp had the first Spina Bifida operation in the USA then met his Dr years later
15 Nov 2017 09:25 - +3
Article says fetus but that image is a baby
15 Nov 2017 10:52 - +2
This doctor delivered my son.
15 Nov 2017 09:39 - +2
This is so cool to do surgery in the womb - wow. I hope it works.
15 Nov 2017 09:13 - +2
So, I'm just a bit to lazy after a long day to read the article, was it done for the first time in Canada? Or, for the first time, in Canada?
15 Nov 2017 08:47 - +2
I was just reading about neural tube anomalies for my nervous system class and felt so fucking sorry for babies born with such conditions , glad to see their lives can be improved so early.
15 Nov 2017 10:10 - +2
Title is misleading if you thought it was the first time performed in the world, happening to be in Canada
15 Nov 2017 09:41 - +2
Neat America has been doing this since 80s
15 Nov 2017 06:49 - +2
Spina bifida be damned...
15 Nov 2017 09:22 - +2
FTFY: Surgeons repair spina bifida in baby in utero for 1st time in Canada.
15 Nov 2017 08:59 - +2
Am high school student, this is what I want to do in the future. Only 17 more years! Woohoo!!
15 Nov 2017 12:37 - +1
I have spinabifida occulta, scoliosis, and lordosis. I have considered myself lucky to have the most minor form of spina bifida. I have no lesion or mark over the area affected. Physical therapy as an adolescent helped a lot.
15 Nov 2017 08:57 - +1
Isn't it 100% preventable with folic acid?
15 Nov 2017 12:29 - +1
If only I could be born again. It will be great when no child ever has to suffer from this defect.
15 Nov 2017 12:20 - +1
After a successful surgery, the surgeons apologized.
15 Nov 2017 12:21 - +1
Love canada. Kind of surprising though this is a standard surgical procedure in the US Edit- my work in amazing houston apparently has me so sheltered. We've been doing these for a decade i think
15 Nov 2017 08:54 - +1
This is absolutely amazing. This surgery may not be a cure but it will drastically improve the quality of life for its recipients.
15 Nov 2017 11:18 - +1
This is incredible! I was born with Spina Bifida Meningocele in 1996, and it makes me so happy that this can be done in modern times. I'm a very lucky case, but I've grown up around other children who were less fortunate, including the most severe form, Myelomeningocele (the form this child had.) The thought of a future where children do not face SB makes me speechless. Well done, surgical team, and thank you.

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