The surgery was performed on the foetus of a 25-year-old lady Sirisha on Saturday. An ultrasound scan during her pregnancy showed heart defect in the baby (foetus). She also had undergone minor surgical procedure for gynaecological problem to prevent abortion.
Doctors performed fetal echocardiogram and found a major heart defect in the foetus. There was severe obstruction which was resulting in failure of pumping of blood to the rest of the body.
The rare surgery was performed by Chief Pediatric Cardiologist, CARE hospitals Dr. K Nageshwar Rao along with a team of 12 specialists.
Rao said that this was a very uncommon procedure in India and people preferred to terminate the foetus rather than choosing an alternative like this procedure.
"This is unique in our country because these kind of procedures are not done to my knowledge so far. Most of the people, when we ask for these kind of procedures, they go for termination. This case illustrates the awareness among the public and also in the doctors," said Rao.
Reportedly, this heart ailment is incurable once a child is born.
During the surgery, both the mother and the foetus were given anesthesia to avoid fetal movement during the procedure. Mother's abdomen was entered using a needle and the needle was advanced into the uterus, the baby's chest and finally into the left ventricle.
Rao added the latest procedure was new in India and was it difficult to convince doctors as well as the families of patients to go ahead with such a surgery.
"This is not a new procedure. In other countries like North America and Europe people have done (it) and they publish it even recently in large series showed that good outcome. In our country, the problems are too many and different sub-set of population and diversified of population, so it is very, very difficult to convince the referring physician, obstrecian and family," added Rao.
Post the surgery, the foetus is said to be out of danger and expected to be born as a healthy child.
This feat was accomplished by the doctors on Friday, a day which is also celebrated as the World Foetal Day.