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Rare heart surgery performed on fetus for second time in history

CLEVELAND (WEWS) – Doctors in Ohio have successfully removed a tumor from an unborn baby’s heart.

This is only the second time in medical history that fetal surgery has been performed.

“People tell me that he’s definitely a miracle, that he’s a gift from God,” said Samantha Drinnon, the mother. “And he’s supposed to be doing something crazy in this world.”

The male fetus is now 5 months old.

“It’s very surreal. It’s very overwhelming, ”Drinnon said.

But 6 months after the onset of pregnancy, the odds were not in her favor.

“April, we found out that Ryland had a cardiac teratoma, which is a tumor that grows on his heart,” Drinnon said.

Her condition is a problem that doctors don’t often see.

“They are incredibly rare. Overall, they only represent one in 40,000 births, ”said Dr. Darrell Cass, director of fetal surgery and the fetal care center at the Cleveland Clinic. “And then having it in this place of the heart is much less common.”

Successful removal of this tumor is even rarer. The procedure has only been performed a few times in the world and has only been successful once.

“The odds were absolutely against us. And we felt confident that we had the right team together, ”said Cass.

After discussing and weighing the options, the doctors and Drinnon agreed that surgery was the way to go.

The fetal surgery took place on May 7 and lasted 4 hours.

“Dr. Nausea did what he could do on a baby after birth. He made an incision around the middle of the chest to open the rib cage and expose this little baby’s heart to help loosen the tumor from the chest. heart. Pretty amazing stuff, ”Cass said.

It was a success.

“Fortunately, little Ryland inside Mom’s womb and mother have both recovered wonderfully,” Cass said.

“Some of the nurses who were in my room told me they were crying and still crying tears because of it. Just because it was the craziest thing they had ever experienced too, ”Drinnon said.

After removal, he was returned to his mother’s womb for 10 weeks before being released earlier.

“At 36 weeks and three days he made his debut,” Drinnon said.

” It warms the heart. It’s amazing, ”Cass said.

And soon she will tell him this heroic story.

“Someday he’ll be like, ‘What’s that crazy place on my chest?’ and I’m going to tell him you’ve been through something crazy that no baby can really tell he’s been through, ”Drinnon said.

The baby is healthy, but Samantha said they always come back for blood tests and to make sure her heart is working properly.

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