Surgeons Operate on Baby Inside Womb

Australian surgeons are being credited for saving the leg of an unborn baby by operating on her while her mother was just 22 weeks pregnant, French news agency AFP is reporting.

The hospital told AFP Monday that this may be the earliest in utero surgery of its kind.

Baby Leah was diagnosed with a condition called amniotic band syndrome in which bands of tissue wrap themselves around a developing fetus' limbs, hands or feet and cut off blood flow. Doctors say the tissue had wrapped around both Leah's legs.

A hospital spokeswoman told AFP that doctors usually hold off on operating until 28 weeks of pregnancy to better the baby's chances for survival. However, Leah risked losing both legs if doctors had waited in this case.