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Winnie Palmer Hospital Has Successfully Performed In-Utero Surgery on Three Babies with Spina Bifida

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Doctors perform surgery in the uterus to correct for spina bifida. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Doctors perform surgery in the uterus to correct for spina bifida. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A surgery performed to correct for the spine in babies born with spina bifida is being offered for the first time in Florida. Surgeons at Winnie Palmer Hospital say by re-positioning a child’s spine and closing an opening in their back, they’re able to avoid mobility and digestive problems. Dr. Samer Elbabaa says he’s excited to teach other hospital teams the procedure.

“We look forward to opening our doors and to make the Central Florida Region to make it a destination nationally and internationally for parents to come and treat their babies with spina bifida even before they’re born.”

A 2015 longitudinal study of Midwestern children born with spina bifida found that their reported quality of life was lower than children born with other chronic health conditions.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »