The baby was born with a rare and major birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Chennai hospital performs keyhole surgery on 2-day-old born with rare birth defect
Product Surgery Monday, May 11, 2020 - 14:47

Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, a life-saving keyhole surgery has given a new lease of life to a two-day-old newborn in Chennai. The baby was born with a rare and major birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. The surgery was performed at MGM Healthcare hospital in Chennai.  

The baby, which was born with a twin, was found having breathing difficulty immediately after birth. Antenatal scans did not show any complications. However, after birth, an X-ray and further detailed examination showed the infant to be suffering from Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia – a diaphragm defect that causes the intestines to move into the chest cavity through a hole in the diaphragm.

This rare birth defect affects one in 4,000 newborns and is said to cause severe respiratory distress which can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated immediately. In India, the survival rate in 2019 was reported to be around 60%. The success of these cases usually depends on how well the lungs have been developed, lung pressure and the presence of defects in other vital organs.

The surgeons performed a minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery on the second day post-delivery after ensuring that the heart and other vital organs were normal. Post-surgery, the infant was kept under observation and was discharged after six days.

Dr Binu Ninan, HOD of Paediatrics and Neonatology at MGM Healthcare, stated, “Healthcaring never stops – that is our philosophy here at MGM, especially during times of emergencies. We are more than delighted as we were able to provide this lifesaving service during the COVID-19 lockdown – a time when people are under the impression that all efforts are going only towards COVID-19. It is paramount that babies born with such conditions are monitored in a tertiary care Neonatal ICU with a competent team capable of handling neonatal intensive care as well as neonatal surgery and anaesthesia.”

Dr. Balamourougane, Senior Paediatric Surgeon at MGM Healthcare, who was part of the surgical team, said, “In select candidates, thoracoscopic repair (Key Hole Surgery) can be offered. This was one such case. The advantage is a better cosmetic effect, less pain and minimal chest deformity.”