Saturday, May 09, 2009
Amazing Baby Doing Well After Her Heart Was Repaired In The Womb
At 30 weeks into her pregnancy, Vicki McKenzie had an ultrasound that showed her developing fetus had critical aortic stenosis, a condition in which the main outlet valve of the left ventricle is severely narrowed.
She was immediately referred Sick Kids and Mount Sinai where doctors explained that waiting to operate after birth would be too risky.Untreated, her condition would inevitably lead to a lifelong condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Children with HLHS typically need to have at least three major heart surgeries and are not expected to have a normal lifespan; the 10-year survival rate is only 65 per cent.
During the 37-minute procedure, doctors inserted the device through the mother's abdomen and then directly into the baby's heart to induce proper growth and function - and to prevent the child from dying of heart failure at birth.
Amazingly, the procedure allowed the baby, Océane, to remain safely in utero for another month until she was born on April 15.
Within an hour of the baby's birth at Mount Sinai, she was whisked to nearby Sick Kids, where doctors fed another balloon catheter into her heart to further expand the aortic valve. A third followed a couple of weeks later.
Even though this utero surgery has been performed several times in the U.S., this is the first successfully surgery of it's kind in Canada. The team of doctors attempted the procedure on two other much earlier fetuses. Neither survived.
Oceane is now doing well and expected to lead a normal childhood.Related Articles: