Head-sized tumour successfully removed from spinal cord of newborn
Doctors at Kauvery Hospital removed successfully a tumour on a 12-day-old baby girl, who was prenatally detected with a rare spinal cord congenital tumour during the 20th week of pregnancy.
CHENNAI: Doctors at Kauvery Hospital removed successfully a tumour on a 12-day-old baby girl, who was prenatally detected with a rare spinal cord congenital tumour during the 20th week of pregnancy.
The tumour that was almost the size of the baby’s head on the spinal cord was getting bigger by the day. So, an expert team decided to conduct an operation on the 12th day of the baby, though the baby only weighed 2.9 kg.
The baby was born at a private medical college hospital and referred to the Kauvery Hospital because of expert team comprising spine and neurosurgeon, paediatric surgeon and others, said Dr G Balamurali, consultant, Spine and Neurosurgeon, Kauvery Hospital.
“After the tumour was detected, doctors took an MRI and said that the tumour did not harm the foetus; so it was safe to give birth. A few people advised termination, but we did not want to do it because this is our first child,” said P Rekha, mother of the baby.
The size of the tumour was 15 x 18 cm on the day of the surgery and it took eight hours to remove it. “We have sent it for biopsy; only after its result, we can tell whether its malignant or benign. But, we suspect it to be teratoma or a rhabdomyosarcoma, which is malignant (cancerous). Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur in one in 1.5 million newborns but it rare that it grows to this size at birth,” said Dr Balamurali.
The baby could not sleep on its back because of the tumour, since it was getting larger, and hence we decided to do tje surgery. Surgery was performed on April 4 and the baby is ready to be discharged in a couple of days, the doctor added.