Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Kochi has unveiled a centre for open fetal surgery - the first in Asia for treating complex and rare fetal conditions. With this, India joins the select club of nations after USA, France and Spain to offer open surgery on fetus.
"Open Fetal Surgery entails taking a baby with birth defects out of mother's womb, performing corrective surgery and placing the fetus back inside the womb. The pregnancy is then allowed to continue. Later a cesarean section is done and the baby is delivered," said Professor Mohan Abraham, Head of Pediatric and Fetal Surgery at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre. "This prevents complications to the baby from birth defect, even before delivery, thereby helping to obtain a normal baby," he added.
The Centre has already done EXIT procedure for a baby with a swelling in the neck. The baby's head was delivered from the womb, fluid from the swelling removed and a tube was put into the windpipe to enable breathing. In another case of a twin conception, one of the twins did not have a heart and the survival of the normal one was at risk as one heart had to pump for both the twins.
Blood supply was interrupted to the fetus without heart to save the normal one. Besides, the Centre routinely does intrauterine transfusions, chorionic villi sampling and amniocentesis. A two-day conference at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences on August 29 and 30 will, amongst other topics, deliberate the new techniques being introduced at the Centre for fetal care.