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A life-saving foetal surgery is performed at Cleveland Clinic to remove a rare heart tumour.

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Peeyush Ghalot
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A multidisciplinary team of Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Children's doctors and nurses performed life-saving foetal surgery to remove a tumour linked to a 26-week-old foetus' heart. During the treatment, doctors successfully removed a malignant tumour, squeezing the left side of the foetus' heart and hindering circulation, causing fluid collection around the heart and other organs. Dr. Cass led a team that included paediatric and congenital heart surgeons Hani Najm, M.D., and Alistair Phillips, M.D., paediatric cardiologist Francine Erenberg, M.D., obstetric and paediatric anaesthesiologists McCallum Hoyt, M.D., Tara Hata, M.D., and Yael Dahan, M.D., as well as maternal-foetal medicine specialist Amanda Kalan.

(Picture: - Cleveland Clinic)

(A prior case resulted in a successful pregnancy and birth.)

The foetus’s chest was closed, and the foetus was positioned back in the uterus after the foetal heart surgery was completed. The mother's abdomen was then closed after the uterus was closed. The operation lasted 3 12 hours. Following the procedure, both the mother and the foetus did well. The foetus' heart function improved almost quickly, and the foetus remained in the womb for the rest of the pregnancy. The baby was born ten weeks later. A ground-breaking foetal procedure like this gives hope to other families facing the same heart-breaking diagnosis. The infant's medical team will continue to evaluate his heart health and look for symptoms of tumour recurrence in the future. The infant will most certainly require surgery in the future to realign his sternum, which did not mend appropriately in pregnancy.

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