Doctors Perform Incredible Surgery to Remove Tumor from Fetus
June 27, 2012
by Katie Murray
At a routine 17 week scan, Tammy Gonzalez was convinced she saw a “large bubble” coming out of her daughter’s mouth. After further examination, doctors concluded that this bubble-shaped image was actually a tumor, growing in the fetus’s mouth, reports BBC News.
This extremely rare condition is called oral teratoma, and is so uncommon that the doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida had only had one case in the last two decades. Gonzalez was told it was likely her child would not survive, because of the tumor’s aggressive growth rate.
However, the Jackson Memorial surgeons chose to operate anyway, using a small needle to enter Gonzalez’s womb. From there, doctors used a laser to severe the tumor away from the 17 week-old fetus. Doctors told BBC News, “To our knowledge, this is the first successful treatment of a fetal oral teratoma in utero."
At a press conference, Gonzalez said, “When they finally severed the whole thing off…it was like this huge weight had been lifted off me and I could finally see her face." Just five months later, Leyna Mykaella Gonzalez was born at a healthy 8lb 1oz; she’s now a healthy toddler (news of the surgery was only recently reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology). The only sign of her surgery is a small scar located on her mouth.
This story brought a tear to our eye. Has your little one overcome any amazing odds?