Doctors perform heart surgery on 29-week foetus

Kochi: For the first time in Kerala, a team of doctors here performed surgery on a 29-week foetus to relieve narrowing of the exit of the unborn baby’s heart chamber.

The heart of the unborn baby was accessed through the mother’s abdomen under ultrasound guidance and a widening of its heart valve was performed.

The procedure called ‘aortic valvuloplasty’ was performed by the doctors of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre. The 29-week foetus suffered from aortic stenosis — which causes restricted blood flow through the heart valve — and ran the risk of heart failure.

After the surgery, the baby is expected to be born with normal circulation of blood.

The mother and the foetus remain stable after the procedure performed by the team of doctors led by Balu Vaidyanathan.

“It is expected that over the ensuing weeks till the pregnancy reaches term, the ventricular function will recover and baby will be born with a stable circulation at birth,” Vaidyanathan told reporters on Friday.