Fetal Tumor Surgery
7 Healthcast: Fetal Tumor Surgery
MIAMI, Fl. (WHDH) -- Doctors removed a benign tumor from a baby's face while she was still in the womb.
She’s your typical 20-month-old full of energy and with her beautiful smile it's hard to even imagine that this precious little girl almost died before birth.
“She doesn't have any cleft pallet. She;s perfectly normal. Thank god!” said her mother, Tammy Gonzalez.
At 17 weeks, an ultra sound showed a tumor on the baby’s mouth.
“Once I met with the doctor they told me what my options were and they weren't very good,” said Gonzalez, “and this baby was already kicking at 17 weeks and I was like, there has to be a way to save her.”
“This is a very rare condition. It can be seen in 1 in approximately 1,000 pregnancies,” said surgeon Dr. Ruben Quintero.
With an endoscope guided by ultra sound, surgeons went into the mother's womb. Using a laser they removed the mass from Lena’s mouth. The surgery was the first of its kind.
“Surgery is done under local anesthesia and sedation only so the mother was awake,” said Dr. Eftichia Kontopoulos.
“The minute he finally severed it off, and I could see it floating down. It was like this huge weight had been lifted off of me,” said Gonzalez.
Lena was born a happy, healthy, 8lbs, 1 ounce thanks to doctors that were willing to something that's never been done before.
“They are our saviors. She wouldn't be here!”
The family is going to have to bring little Lena to doctors routinely to make sure the tumor doesn't come back, but they expect her to lead a normal life.