Before 20-month-old Leyna Gonzalez was even born doctors were already saving her life.
When Leyna was still in her mother’s womb a team of fetal surgeons at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial removed a tumor the size of a peach from her mouth, the first time a tumor had been actively removed from a fetus.
When the tumor was discovered Tammy Gonzalez’s gynecologist Jason James gave her three options, terminate the pregnancy, risk a miscarriage or allow doctors who specialize in fetal surgery to try a never before performed operation.
Only about one in 100,000 babies develop a teratoma growth which can happen when even just one cell multiplies uncontrollably.
To perform the surgery doctors used an endoscope which they inserted through Tammy’s abdomen, they then guided the endoscope using ultrasound to visually capture the tumor. Under local anesthesia for safety reasons the proud mother watched as doctors used a laser to detach the tumor from her daughter’s mouth.
After the surgery she says:
“It was like this huge weight had been lifted off of me, and I could finally see her face. It was perfect.”
Five months later Leyna was born and the only proof of her tumor was a very small scar on her mouth which two years later has almost disappeared.
You can learn more about the doctors groundbreaking surgery in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Would you be willing to go through with a new fetus surgery if given the same choices offered to Tammy Gonzalez?