9-day-old gets new lease of life after complicated operation

The baby was suffering from neural tube defect that arose due to deficiency of folic acid in mother at the time of conceiving

Published - May 08, 2022 01:48 am IST - ANANTAPUR

Consultant paediatric neurosurgeon A. Rohith Reddy and his team with the baby who was operated upon in Anantapur on Saturday.

Consultant paediatric neurosurgeon A. Rohith Reddy and his team with the baby who was operated upon in Anantapur on Saturday. | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

Paediatric neuro surgeons at KIMS Saveera Hospital in Anantapur gave a new lease of life to a 9-day-old baby by performing a complicated operation on spine for a neural tube defect called ‘meningomyelocele’.

The condition, where the nerves, instead of passing thorough the neural tube (which does not form) in the spine in the first 28 days, get attached to the skin leading to several deficiencies, occurs rarely(one in 1,000). 

Consultant neurosurgeon A. Rohith Reddy, at a press conference here on Saturday, said the condition emanates from the folic acid deficiency in the mother at the time of conceiving.

It is a congenital defect that could have been prevented had the woman, Prasanna, hailing from Kalyandurg in the district, consumed folic acid during her pregnancy. But the deficiency went undetected till after the birth of her child as she, a daily labourer, did not know that she was pregnant till her seventh month, said the doctor. 

Due to lack of medical facility in some rural pockets, regular scanning of pregnant women is not done leading to such defects. Only 15% of such undetected live babies survive till 5th year, while about 50% live up to 26 years, the doctor added. All women should start consuming iron and folic acid tablets if they are planning pregnancy, said paediatrician A. Mahesh.

The baby boy was brought to hospital on the 7th day of birth with a large swelling in the lower spine and lack of/ uncontrolled bowl movement in the baby. The team of doctors performed the 45-minute operation on the 9th day on March 30, and the baby was discharged on Saturday following good progress in weight and on watching normal activities.

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