With the purpose of reducing the risks of brain damage, spine or genetic malformations, for more than 40 years, intrauterine fetal surgeries have been performed in the world, a technique that has saved many lives
In order to reduce the risks of brain damage, spinal cord or genetic malformations, intrauterine fetal surgeries have been performed worldwide for more than 40 years, a technique that has saved many lives .
Thanks to technological inventions such as ultrasound, which allows the creation of images to analyze the development of the fetus in the womb, monitoring its formation, limbs and organs, advances have been made in the medical field. For example, today it is possible to diagnose and treat medical conditions on time, such as genetic malformations and even more severe complications, through intrauterine fetal surgery. One of his biggest breakthroughs came this month with the first intrauterine brain operation.
The MIT Technology Review magazine, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), highlighted the success of this experimental brain operation that was performed in Boston on a seven-week-gestation baby. The baby developed a dangerous condition that caused blood to pool in a 14-millimeter-wide pocket in her brain, which, if not operated on, would have caused brain damage, heart problems and breathing difficulties after birth.
For specialists such as Greg James, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and Timo Krings, a neuroradiologist at the University of Toronto, who gave statements in the journal: "This is a really exciting development that is giving children who are otherwise they would have very little chance of survival." The specialists add that it will be important to determine who might be the best candidates for this type of fetal surgery because this type of procedure carries risks and may be worth it only for severe cases in which it also there is a good chance of recovery.
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What is the progress of intrauterine fetal surgery?
This innovative technique was developed by the doctor Michael Harrison, in 1981, at the Children's Hospital of the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), which allowed the male of a twin pregnancy (boy and girl), to be born perfectly healthy , after being operated on for a urinary obstruction, when he was still in his mother's womb.
This evolution of fetal medicine in recent decades is highlighted by experts in the field who see it as a technique that will develop more and more. The United States National Library of Medicine attributes some credit to advances in imaging technology, genetic diagnosis, a better understanding of fetal physiology, and the development and optimization of surgical techniques. intrauterine. All these achievements have made it possible to identify and treat the patient prior to birth.
The future of the field will be shaped by medical innovators who push for the continued refinement of the minimally invasive surgical technique, the application of pioneering technologies such as robotic surgery, and in-utero stem cell and gene therapies. Likewise, the development of innovative extrauterine fetal support systems is being key.
Another of the invented techniques is to use special clips to close the uterus, causing the least possible damage to the baby and the mother, allowing her to get pregnant again without problems.
There are many advances in the matter and it is expected that, with the help of state-of-the-art technology, new specialized techniques and instruments will be developed for this type of intrauterine interventions that have allowed fetuses to receive the care they require so that, at the time of delivery, born, have a better quality of life.