Doctors operated on a tiny fetus, weighing just one pound and three ounces, to remove a tumour.
A baby has been “born twice” after doctors took her out of the womb to remove a life-threatening tumour, and then put her back in again.
Margaret Boemer, from Texas, was 16-weeks pregnant with her third child when a routine ultrasound revealed a growth on the baby’s tailbone, a condition known as sacrococcygeal teratoma.
As the tumour got bigger, doctors realized the only way to save the girl was to operate. This involved lifting the foetus out of her mother for around 20 minutes. The tiny baby weighed only one pound and three ounces at the time.
After being returned to the uterus, the fetus remained inside her mother for another 12 weeks. She was born for a second time at nearly 36 weeks — which is approaching full term — by caesarean section in June. She had grown to a small but healthy five pounds and five ounces.
Ms Boemer and her partner named the child, who is now four-months old, LynLee Hope after both their grandmothers.
Meet the Doctors:
Dr. Olutoye is the Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Fetal Center and fetal surgery team member, as well as a general pediatric surgeon. Dr. Olutoye received his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, in 1988 and his PhD in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, in 1996.
He completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Virginia Commonwealth University, and his fellowship in pediatric surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Olutoye is a member of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society and is a Fellow of the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Surgeons; he is also a Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons.
Dr. Olutoye has specialized clinical expertise in fetal and neonatal surgery, with specific interest in congenital diaphragmatic hernia and complex wounds. Dr. Olutoye’s research interests include understanding the role of the fetal inflammatory response in scarless fetal wound healing, development of animal models of congenital anomalies, in utero correction of severe congenital malformations, and the study of endothelial-leukocyte and endothelial-tumor cell interactions with a goal to better understand the mechanisms of tumor metastasis.
Dr. Olutoye is certified by the American Board of Surgery in Surgery and Pediatric Surgery.
Darrell L. Cass:
Dr. Cass is a member of the fetal surgery team and a general pediatric and thoracic surgeon. After receiving his M.D. in 1991 from the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Dr. Cass pursued residency in general surgery at the University of California San Francisco. During that time, Dr. Cass studied as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Fetal Treatment Center at the University of California San Francisco and at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Cass completed training in pediatric surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in 2001.
Dr. Cass is an Associate Professor in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, he holds appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He serves as the Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Fetal Center, one of only 3 centers in the world to have performed successful open fetal surgery for life-threatening fetal malformations (lung tumors and sacrococcygeal teratoma). Dr. Cass is an attending fetal and pediatric surgeon who practices mostly at Texas Children’s Hospital, though he does have staff appointments at several other Houston area hospitals. Dr. Cass has an NIH-funded research laboratory that studies scarless fetal tissue repair and fetal vascular wall healing. He has particular clinical expertise in congenital diaphragm hernia, ECMO, congenital lung malformations, chest wall deformities (i.e. pectus excavatum), minimally invasive surgery, newborn surgical conditions, and ovarian disorders.