Medicine: Major Surgery Before Birth

Doctors learn how to save lives by entering wombs

Blake Schultz appeared to be doomed before he was even born. While he was in his mother's womb, a hole opened up in his diaphragm and allowed his stomach, spleen and intestines to press into his chest cavity and put pressure on his lungs. The grim prognosis: at birth, he would probably be unable to breathe.

But Blake did breathe, and today he is a healthy nine-month-old -- thanks to a dramatic operation carried out when he was still a fetus. This procedure, the most impressive achievement yet in the young field of fetal surgery, was performed by Dr. Michael Harrison...

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