A baby girl from Lewisville, Texas, has been “born” for the second time after she was taken out of her mother’s womb for 20 minutes for life-saving surgery, the BBC reports.
The baby was removed from the womb at just four months old for the 20 minutes operation after which she was put back in the womb.
At 16 weeks pregnant, Margaret Hawkins Boemer discovered her daughter, Lynlee Hope, had a tumour on her spine.
Baby Lynlee weighed just 1lb 3oz (0.53kg) when surgeons opened the womb.
The tumour, known as a ‘sacrococcygeal teratoma’, was diverting blood from the foetus, risking a fatal heart failure.
Mrs Boemer had originally been expecting twins, but lost one of her babies before the second trimester.
She was initially advised to terminate her pregnancy entirely before doctors at Texas Children’s Fetal Center suggested the risky surgery.
The tumour and the unborn baby were almost the same size by the time the operation was performed. Lynlee was given a 50% chance of survival.
Mrs Boemer told CNN: “At 23 weeks, the tumour was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumour to take over her body or giving her a chance at life.
“It was an easy decision for us: We wanted to give her life.”
‘Her heart stopped’
Doctor Darrell Cass of Texas Children’s Fetal Centre was one of the team who carried out the surgery.
He said the tumour had been so large that a “huge” incision was required to reach it, leaving the baby “hanging out in the air”.
Lynlee’s heart virtually stopped during the procedure but a heart specialist kept her alive while most of the tumour was removed, he added.
The team then placed her back in her mother’s womb and sewed her uterus up.
Mrs Boemer spent the next 12 weeks on bedrest, and Lynlee entered the world for the second time on 6 June.
She was born via Caesarean at almost full term, weighing 5Ib and 5oz, and named after both of her grandmothers.
When Lynlee was eight days old, a further operation helped remove the rest of the tumour from her tailbone.