Pregnant woman undergoes spine surgery of child still in the womb

Bethan Simpson

The Hush Post|20:00 pm|2-min-read

A pregnant woman has undergone a pioneering surgery on her baby’s spine while still in the womb in UK.

Bethan Simpson, 26, of Burnham, Essex, UK, was first advised to terminate her pregnancy. Doctors found that her baby had a birth defect spina bifida which showed up in her 20-week scan. Spina bifida is a disorder in which the bones of the spine do not close properly around the spinal cord. Babies are often born with paralysis of the lower limbs, among other disabilities.

However, Mrs Simpson and her husband, Kieron, opted for foetal repair. In this process, the doctors operate on the baby’s spinal cord while it is still in its mother’s uterus. The surgery was successful and Mrs Simpson is now due to give birth to a baby girl in April.

In an interview, Mrs Simpson said, ” When we discovered that the baby’s head was not the right size during a routine scan, we were offered continuing pregnancy, ending pregnancy or foetal surgery – fixing her before she is born. We agreed to foetal surgery, she said.

She, then underwent numerous scans and fluid tests to see if she was eligible for the operation. After the approval by the doctors, she planned for surgery.

“Our lives were such a rollercoaster for the next few weeks. I had the most recognised surgeons from around the world from University College London Hospital and Belgium looking after me,” she said.

After 24 weeks pregnancy, she underwent foetal repair for spina bifida.

Mrs Simpson is the first women to have got the procedure done in the UK.



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