Thursday , October 21 2021

NHS to Perform Spine Surgery for Babies in Gestation



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sThe definitive surgery for unborn babies is to become routinely available at the NHS next spring, as announced.

The life-changing procedure performed while the baby is still in the womb will help babies with spina bifida, whose spine and spinal cord are not developing properly, the NHS England said.

Surgery to repair spinal tissue can reduce the likelihood of bladder, bowel and kidney conditions later in life, and improve walking, professionals say.

It is one of several treatments that will be offered routinely in the NHS for the first time as of April 2019.

The surgery was first performed in Britain in the summer. Spina bifida surgeries were successfully performed by a team at the University Hospital of London this summer.

More than 300 people with tuberous sclerosis complex, especially children, will benefit from the new everolimus drug.

This reduces the number and severity of epileptic seizures, as a result of the genetic condition, which causes the development of tumors in the body and brain.

And a pill to enlarge the blood vessels will help those with pulmonary arterial hypertension, which causes high blood pressure, to prevent damage to the heart.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, said the NHS is a world leader in innovation.

He said: "NHS England is determined to ensure that every cent is spent wisely, maximizing the money available for medicines and life-saving and life-changing procedures."

Kate Steele, Shine's chief executive, said the announcement is "very good news" for spina bifida babies.

She said: "Prenatal surgery has been practiced for several years in other countries but now that surgery is planned to be performed in the UK it means that much less parents will have to travel abroad and stay away from home for the surgery.

"They will be closer to the important medical and family support networks they will need before, during and after surgery."

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