A women in the United Kingdom claimed to have undergone a so-called "fetal repair" operation after learning that her baby had been diagnosed with spina bifida, a congenital abnormality that affects the spine.

Bethan Simpson of Maldon, Essex, was informed that her unborn Eloise was suffering from spina bifida in December. Simpson then had three options: "to continue the pregnancy, to terminate the pregnancy". [the] pregnancy or a new option called fetal surgery – repair it before birth ", she wrote on Facebook.


The 26-year-old mother-in-law chose the third option, making her "one of the few women in the UK to submit to the default correction procedure." according to the BBC. Simpson claimed on Facebook that she is the fourth woman in the country to undergo the operation.

Spina bifida "occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly", according to the Mayo Clinic.

"This is part of the broader category of neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops in the baby's brain and spinal cord, as well as in the tissues around them, "says the Mayo Clinic.

But when a part of the neural tube does not grow or close properly, it causes "defects of the spinal cord and bones of the spine".

There are different types of illness and its severity varies. In the United States, spina bifida occurs between about 1,500 and 2,000 babies in about 4 million births each year, according to estimates. National Organization for Rare Diseases.

For Simpson, after approval, with Eloise, of the pioneering operation – a process described by Simpson as a "roller coaster" – the doctors spent about four hours correcting the baby's defect. up "the small space in the baby's lower spine and also repositioned his spinal cord, the BBC reported.

"We succeeded. Her injury was small and she underwent surgery that you would not have thought of, "Simpson wrote, 24 weeks old at the time of the operation, on Facebook.

"I'm fragile and painful, but as long as she's fine, that's all that matters to us," she continued, adding, "They came out of my womb and ironed her directly to stay there as long as she could. "

Dominic Thompson, a neurosurgeon who led the operation, told the newsroom that the procedure was "not a cure", but he noted that previous trials had shown that "the prospects can be much better with early surgery. "

In fact, according to Philadelphia Children's Hospital"Fetal spina bifida surgery significantly reduces the need to divert fluids from the brain, improves mobility and increases the chances that a child will be able to walk independently."


Simpson considers that his daughter, who is due to give birth in April, is "particularly special".

"I feel that our baby kicks me day after day. This has never changed. She is extra special. She is part of the story and our daughter showed how much she deserved this life, "she wrote.