Doctors remove tumor from fetus's mouth in utero

In what doctors are calling the world’s first procedure of its kind, surgeons from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida have removed a large tumor from the mouth of an unborn fetus, the BBC News reported.

Called an oral teratoma, doctors found the tumor after a scan at 17 weeks revealed what looked like a “bubble” coming out of little Leyna Gonzalez’s mouth.

According to BBC News, doctors said the tumor was so rare that they had only seen one like it once before in 20 years at the hospital.  Initially, they doubted the girl would survive.

In order to remove the tumor, the girl’s mother Tammy Gonzalez was given a local anesthetic while doctors inserted a needle in her amniotic sac near the fetus.  Using a laser, they were able to cut the tumor from Leyna’s lips in just over an hour.

Five months later, Leyna was born fine and healthy.  She is now 20 months old.

Click for more from BBC News.

Click for the full report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.