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Modern medicine is amazing.

In a first for the UK, two unborn babies underwent surgery to repair their spines. Diagnosed with spinal bifida, and abnormal development of the spinal cord, a team of 30 doctors worked for 90 minutes.

From the BBC:

Two unborn babies have had their spines repaired by surgeons – weeks before they were born.

The operations – which are the first ever of their kind in the UK – were carried out by a team of 30 doctors at University College Hospital in London.

The babies had spina bifida, a condition when the spinal cord fails to develop properly and has a gap in it.

It is usually treated after birth, but the earlier it is repaired the better for long-term health and mobility.

During the 90-minute surgery carried out this summer, doctors cut an opening in the womb and then stitched together the baby’s gap in the spine.

The procedure is risky and can cause premature labour, but researchers are exploring less invasive keyhole methods.

“We put the mum on some drugs that help relax them, but there is still a risk,” said UCL Professor Anne David, who has worked on bringing the surgery to the UK for three years.

Mums and babies are recovering well, the hospital said.

“It’s fantastic,” said Prof David. “Women now don’t have to travel out of the UK. They can have their family with them. There are less expenses. So all good things.”


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