25 Mar, 2024 @ 16:30
1 min read

Surgeons remove heart tumour from baby weighing under a kilo in first operation of its kind in Spain

A TEAM of over 30 professionals at Valencia’s La Fe Hospital have become the first in Spain to successfully remove a cardiac tumour from a prematurely-born baby.

Medics detected a rare type of heart tumour known as pericardial teratoma diagnosed in the 24th week of the baby’s gestation which was behaving aggressively.

It was compromising its heart and neighbouring areas, not just threatening the still-to-be-born baby, but also its mother.

COMPLEX PROCEDURE(La Fe Hospital image)

Specialists carried an extensive diagnosis and relieved the compression of the tumour for a further fortnight.

Then at the six-and-a-half month stage, it was decided that the baby should be delivered via caesarean section- weighing in at just 900 grams.

Such was the difficulty caused by the tumour, the baby could have died immediately after cutting its umbilical cord.

It had to be kept attached to the placenta while it was stabilised and surgery performed to remove the tumour.

The youngster needed a new operation two months later to remove remnants of the tumour that had grown back.

After the fresh procedure and two cycles of chemotherapy in the hospital’s pediatric oncology unit, the baby is completely tumour-free.

La Fe Hospital manager, Jose Luis Poveda, said: “The coordination and experience of the professionals of our hospital have been the key to the success of this operation.“

“This was a very complex challenge that represents a major milestone in the treatment of cardiac tumours in premature babies.”

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