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Pre-Birth Spina Bifida Surgery Now In Florida

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Flickr Creative Commons
The Florida Channel
Doctors perform surgery in the uterus to correct for spina bifida.

A surgery performed to correct for spina bifida before a baby is even born is being offered for the first time in Florida. 

Surgeons at Winnie Palmer Hospital say by repositioning a child’s spine and closing an opening in their back, they’re able to avoid mobility and digestive problems.

Dr. Samer Elbabaa says he’s anxious to teach other hospital teams the procedure, as it’s only offered at hospitals in Tennessee and North Carolina currently.

“We look forward to opening our doors and to make the Central Florida Region to make it a destination nationally and internationally for parents to come and treat their babies with spina bifida even before they’re born,” Elbabaa said.

A 2015 longitudinal study of Midwestern children born with spina bifida found that there reported quality of life was lower than children born with other chronic health conditions.