A woman in the UK claims to have undergone surgery called "fetal repair" after learning of the diagnosis of her baby's spina bifida, a birth defect affecting the spine.
Bethan Simpson, of Maldon, in Essex, was informed that her unborn daughter Eloise has a thorn in December. At the time, Simpson said she had been given three options: "continue the pregnancy, end the pregnancy [the] or a new option called fetal surgery ̵
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The 26-year-old has chosen the third option – to make her "one of the few" women in the UK to undergo the procedure to correct the defect, according to the BBC. Simpson said on Facebook that she is the fourth woman in the country to undergo surgery.
spina bifida "occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form correctly", according to the Mayo Clinic.
"It falls under the broadest category of neural tube defects.The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops in the brain of the child and in the spinal cord and in the tissues that surround them," explains the Mayo Clinic.
But when a portion of the neural tube does not develop or close properly, it causes "defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the vertebral column."
There are various types of conditions and its severity varies. In the United States, in particular, spina bifida occurs between 1,500 and 2,000 babies estimated at about 4 million births every year, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
For Simpson, after she and Eloise were approved for the pioneering surgery – a process described by Simpson as "roller coaster" – the doctors spent about four hours correcting the child's defect, they opened the uterus of Simpson to expose the fund of Eloise, from there they "sewed" the small space in the spine of the child and also repositioned the spinal cord, according to reports from the BBC.
"We were a success: her injury was small and she broke the surgery as you would not believe," Simpson, who was 24 weeks old at the time of surgery, wrote later on Facebook.
"I am frail and painful, but as long as you are well, this is all that interests us," he continued, adding: "They carried me out of my womb and they were immediately put back to stay there as long as she can. "[1 9659007] Dominic Thompson, a neurosurgeon who led the surgery, told the outlet that the procedure is not" a cure "but noted that previous evidence indicated" prospects can be much better with early surgery. "
In fact, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, "fetal surgery for spina bifida greatly reduces the need to divert fluids from the brain, improves mobility and enhances the chances that a child will be able to walk independently. "
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Simpson considers his daughter, who is due in April, to be "extra special".
"I feel like our baby is kicking me day after day, it has never changed, it's really special, it's part of the story and our daughter showed how much she deserves this life," he wrote.