A group of Japanese medical experts claim to have successfully operated on a baby in the womb of its mother with severe congenital heart disease.
The panel of experts, including those from the National Center for Child Health and Development, or NCCHD, says the surgery was performed in July on a fetus in a mother’s womb in her 25th week of pregnancy. .
The fetus has been diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, in which the narrowness of the aortic valve opening prevents part of the heart from developing normally.
Surgeons first inserted a special needle-like tube through the mother’s abdomen into the fetal heart, and then through the tube, inserted a balloon catheter to widen the valve opening.
They say the procedure increased the amount of blood flowing through the heart.
They say the baby was born in October and is now in good condition.
The group carried out the operation as part of clinical research. He says it is the first treatment in the country for a fetus with aortic valve stenosis.
NCCHD doctor Sagou Haruhiko says more illnesses can be treated now while a baby is still in its mother’s womb. He said he will conduct more clinical studies so more lives can be saved through prenatal treatment.