Baby born after in-womb spina bifida surgery

A baby who had pioneering surgery on her spine while in the womb has been born healthy.

Parents Georgia and Tyler discovered their daughter, Piper, had spina bifida – a gap in the spine resulting in paralysis – at the 20-week scan.

It is hoped that the technique will reduce the number of abortions offered to parents whose child is diagnosed with the condition.


The couple, from Bristol, paid £9,000 to have the surgery in Germany, after medics informed them the only treatment available in the UK would be conducted by a doctor who had never performed the operation before.

They stitched the gap in the spinal cord and attached a 3.5cm collagen patch over Piper’s spine. The patch, used to treat burn victims, covers the exposed nerves and will help the developmet of lower limbs.


Mum, Georgia, said: “You could really see the mark on her spine when she was first born. It really makes you think how incredible the procedure was”.

“I would honestly recommend the surgery to anyone who is in a similar boat to us”.

So far, doctors can’t see signs of any disability with Piper.


According to the spina bifida charity ‘Shine’, more than 200 children are born with the condition every year in the UK.

A 2012 study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US, indicated that 63 per cent of babies diagnosed with spina bifida were aborted.

This summer, for the first time, London surgeons performed the in-womb surgery on two babies diagnosed with spina bifida in the UK.

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