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At Jackson Memorial Hospital, surgeons performed a “world first” procedure on the mouth of a fetus.
Tammy Gonzalez, mother to baby Leyna, said she “could see a bubble” coming out of her baby’s mouth after a scan at 17 weeks.
Doctors realized the bubble was a very rare tumor called an oral teratoma, and that the rate of survival for the girl was slim. The tumor is so rare, that at the Florida hospital, doctors had only seen it once in 20 years.
For the procedure, Mrs. Gonzalez was put under an anesthetic, while a needle was pushed through the protective amniotic sac around the fetus. Then, a laser was used to cut the tumor from Leyna’s lips. The operation only lasted an hour.
According to doctors, this is the first successful treatment of a fetal oral teratoma in utero.
And in October 2010, Leyna Mykaella Gonzalez was born, weighing 8 lbs 1 oz. Leyna is now a healthy 20-month-old child and only a tiny scar remains on her mouth from her life-saving surgery.