Thursday, November 23, 2006

Born with the heart out!

23/11/2006

One of the medical wonders.

Using a piece of Gore-Tex fabric to make their repairs, doctors performed corrective surgery on a baby born with his heart outside his chest, and said on Wednesday that the youngster should be able to lead a close-to-normal life.

Naseem Hasni underwent surgery to put his heart inside his chest hours after being delivered by Caesarean section on October 31 at Holtz Children's Hospital.

"He's not going to be able to play certain kinds of sports where a blow to the sternum to you and me wouldn't be a problem, but in him it would be. So I think some competitive sports are going to be out," said Dr Eliot Rosenkranz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, "but he's going to be able to participate in other sorts of activities. Certainly the goal is as normal a childhood as he can achieve."

Before the surgery, Naseem's heart looked like a peeled plum sitting atop his pink chest, with the aorta diving back underneath the skin. Nevertheless, the heart was beating away normally.
During the six-hour operation, surgeons first wrapped Naseem's heart in Gore-Tex, then a layer of his own skin, to substitute for his missing pericardium, the sac that encloses the heart. The heart was then slowly eased inside his chest.

The baby was born with an extremely rare congenital defect, ectopia cordis, in which the heart grows outside the body and the chest wall and sternum fail to develop.

The defect was spotted in an ultrasound exam in late September after the mother, Michelle Hasni (33) began feeling unusual movement from the baby.

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