Mayo Clinic Performs Rare In-Womb Surgery to Give Baby New Chance at Life

February 28, 2017 06:08 PM

(ABC 6 News)--An Austin mom and her baby are doing well after her pregnancy took an unexpected turn. Nineteen weeks in, doctors told her something was wrong with her unborn baby.

"It was really scary," says mother Kipp Rosas.


Pregnancy can be difficult enough for many women and for Kipp, her fourth pregnancy was nothing like her first three.

"It was hard and very stressful because I didn't know anything about what she was diagnosed with," said Kipp.

Her baby was diagnosed with a severe form of Spina Bifida halfway through her pregnancy.

“Once the baby is being formed the babies back does not close. The spine does not close, so the nerves can be open," says Dr. Rodrigo Ruano, Director at Mayo Clinic Fetal Diagnostic and Intervention Center.

Kipps doctors at Mayo Clinic went over options for both her and her unborn child, and at 23 weeks, she went under the knife.

"I've never had a surgery before in my life, not even a broken bone, so it was very nerve-raking for me," Kipp said.

The surgery exposes the mother’s uterus, doctors then open the uterus and fix the baby's spinal cord. The incision on the uterus is about three centimeters and the defect is a little smaller, so doctors have to use microscopes to do the surgery.

"She's like a little miracle," says Kipp.

Delia was delivered, by C-section at 37 weeks, and both mom and baby are doing very well. Eleven days after Delia was born, doctors who performed the surgery checked her out during a checkup for mom.

Doctors also looked at Delia’s feet because some babies with Spina Bifida develop club feet. The surgery took about two hours with a team of 30 people.


Marissa Collins

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