Change Of Heart

In a surgical first, doctors fixed a deadly heart valve defect in a 23-week-old fetus. Here's how they did it

Hitting the Target...

1 POSITIONING THE FETUS After mother and fetus were anesthetized, physicians massaged the mother's belly to bring the fetal heart near the belly wall. Then a doctor pressed down on the mother's abdomen to hold the fetus in place

2 AIMING FOR THE HEART With a specially designed needle, doctors aimed for the apex of the heart, which was the size of a grape. Once inside, they worked their way to the defective valve

...and Fixing the Flaw

3 GETTING WIRED Doctors replaced the needle tip with a thin wire that they threaded through the constricted valve


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