Boston Doctors Perform First-Ever Brain Surgery On Baby In Womb

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A team from two Boston hospitals have successfully performed a successful first-ever brain surgery on a fetus.

A team from Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital said the surgery took place on March 15, but was announced on Thursday. It's the first-ever cerebrovascular brain surgery done on a fetus in the womb.

The baby developed a condition called vein of Galen malformation, a defect in one of the brain's veins that can be deadly. Arteries in the brain connect straight to veins instead of being passed through capillaries, overloading the heart with high pressure blood. Children's Hospital says the condition can cause heart failure shortly after birth.

"We were thrilled to see that the aggressive decline usually seen after birth simply did not appear...There are no signs of any negative effects on the brain,” lead study author Dr. Darren B. Orbach said in a statement.

The baby girl named Denver was carried to term, and was born two days after the surgery. She's now safely at home with her parents and siblings. A study on the surgery was published in the scientific journal Stroke.

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