PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fetal surgery through an open uterus: close-up of the repair of a fetal diaphragmatic hernia. This operation, at the Hopital-Saint-Vincent-De- Paul, France, on 22nd July 1991, was the first successful European attempt at such a technique. The single defect of the 7-month fetus resulted in part of her bowel protruding into the chest cavity to obstruct lung development. Through an abdominal incision, the bowel was rearranged & the diaphragm rebuilt with a prosthesis. A second prosthesis was used to enlarge the abdominal cavity. Finally, the fetus was replaced & the uterus rejoined & refilled with amniotic fluid.
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