There is nothing that won’t be experiment for in this century age. Doctors discovered the babies both had spinal bifida, which is usually treated after birth, but research shows that treating it earlier can prevent health issues after birth including brain fluid loss and long-term mobility issues. In the first operations of their kind in the UK, a team of 30 doctors and surgeons at London’s University College Hospital operated on unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs.
UCL’s Professor Anne David, who has been working for three years to bring the procedure to patients in the UK, led the operations and said British mothers have in the past had to travel to the US or Europe for the procedure. ‘It’s fantastic. Women now don’t have to travel out of the UK,’ Professor David said.
More than 200 children are born with spinal bifida every year in the UK, according to charity Shine. A study in the US found the groundbreaking pre-birth surgery did have health and mobility benefits for babies known to have spinal bifida, with a 50% reduction in people needing to have shunts inserted in the brain to drain fluid a procedure that carries long-term complications on brain and motor functioning, researchers said.