Miami-based specialized surgeons managed to remove a tumor the size of a matchbox from an embryo’s mouth while she was still in the womb. Five months later, the baby was born by natural delivery without any further health complications. This was a the first operation of its kind in the world and was carried out by doctors at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida among whose ranks included the Greek Dr Efthichia Kontopoulos.
The surgeons operated on Tammy Gonzalez detaching the mass with a laser. Dr Eftichia Kontopoulos and Dr Ruben Quintero were the two head surgeons.
Everything began when Mrs Tammy Gonzalez went to the hospital for a routine scan and doctors found out that a “bubble” blown from the unborn child’s mouth was indeed a large tumor. Despite the fact that this condition affects one in 100,000 pregnancies, the Gonzalez couple were informed by the doctors that there was little chance the embryo would survive birth.
In an interview with Greek newspaper TA NEA, Mrs Kontopoulos who has lived over the past 17 years in the USA explained that “after a detailed examination with ultrasound checks, we had a clear image of the tumor’s features and this kind of surgery was the ideal choice in such cases.”
The Greek doctor added that little Leyna is now totally healthy, according to routine MRI examinations and that the only evidence of her surgery is a tiny scar near the corner of her mouth.