In what is considered a medical first, doctors at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem saved a baby’s ovaries by performing surgery a half-hour after her birth by cesarean section, something never done before on a newborn.
When Tamar Levy’s ultrasound at 35 weeks showed an abnormality in her fetus’s abdomen, her gynecologist sent her immediately to the Emergency Room at Hadassah Ein Kerem. There, an ultrasound machine that had been upgraded just weeks before detected that cysts on both of the fetus’s ovaries were twisting them, resulting in a slowing of the blood flow to the ovaries.
This condition, called ovarian torsion, is more commonly seen in teenagers and adults. Left untreated, it is very painful and results in the loss of the ovary. Rarely does a cyst occur in both ovaries, as in the case of the fetus.
Working quickly, Dr. Dan Arbel, director of Hadassah’s Pediatric Oncology Surgery Unit, and Dr. Noa Ofek Shlomai, director of the Premature and Neonatal Unit, delivered the baby and within 30 minutes performed the delicate surgery that restored normal blood flow to the baby’s ovaries.
Said Levy, “I thank everyone who took care of me along the way and for the wonderful and quick work done by the staff at the hospital in order to take care of our daughter.”
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Photo caption: Dr. Noa Ofek Shlomai, right, head of neonatology at Hadassah University Medical Center, holding the newborn who successfully underwent surgery to save her ovaries. From left are Dr. Shay Porat, director of the obstetrics and gynecology ultrasound service, and Dr. Dan Arbel, director of the pediatric oncology surgery department.