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Saving a Baby’s Life in Utero: World’s First Removal of a Fetal Oral Teratoma

Saving a Baby's Life in Utero: World’s First Removal of a Fetal Oral Teratoma

Meet the 20-month-old who’s alive today because of surgery performed by UM/Jackson fetal surgeons

Leyna Gonzalez, 20 months; her parents, Tammy and Alain Gonzalez; UM/Jackson fetal surgeons Ruben Quintero, M.D., and Eftichia Kontopoulos, M.D.

Midway through her second pregnancy, Tammy Gonzalez had an ultrasound when she saw what appeared to be her unborn daughter blowing a bubble. Unfortunately, doctors saw something quite devastating. The baby had an oral teratoma, a large tumor growing from her mouth. Doctors told Tammy there was little chance her daughter would survive birth – and if she did, she would require an immediate tracheotomy in order to breath and have multiple surgeries thereafter.

Tammy did not want to end her pregnancy, so she sought help from world-renowned University of Miami/Jackson Memorial fetal surgeon Ruben Quintero, M.D., a pioneer in fetal medicine who treats many birth defects and high risk conditions while the baby is still in the womb.

Dr. Quintero explained the risks to Tammy and agreed to take her case. In May 2010, Dr. Quintero and UM/Jackson fetal surgeon Eftichia Kontopoulos, M.D., operated on Tammy’s baby in utero, using an endoscope guided by ultrasound. Using a laser, they resected the mass and cleared the baby's mouth. The procedure, in which Tammy was under local anesthesia and awake, was done at Jackson Memorial Hospital and lasted just over an hour.

“We were so lucky that Dr. Quintero, Dr. Kontopoulos and their team were at Jackson and were able to help us,” Tammy said. “They saved our daughter’s life.”

On October 1, 2010, Leyna Mykaella Gonzalez was born healthy, weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce. The only sign of the surgery is a tiny scar on her mouth. This case was recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology as the first of its kind.

When:  June 21, 2012, 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 a.m.

Jackson Memorial Hospital
Ira C. Clark Diagnostic Treatment Center, room 252
Corner of Northwest 12th Avenue and 19th Street
Miami, FL 33136

To learn about the world's first successful removal of a fetal oral teratoma.

Editor's Note:
*Media can park outside of the DTC.-

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Jackson Health System
1611 N.W. 12th Avenue Miami, FL 33136
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