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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

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »