Micropremie survives open heart surgery at 26 weeks, Stanford reports

Stanford Medicine Children's Health successfully performed open heart surgery on a 26-week-old micropremie, completely removing the heart tumor in only six minutes, Stanford said Sept. 22.

At 18 weeks along, mother Amanda Valencia learned there was something wrong on her ultrasound. She was referred to a nearby hospital where imaging showed a large heart tumor growing in her baby.

"Her baby had an extremely rare, extremely large heart tumor called an intrapericardial teratoma. They start in the womb and grow rapidly. It was only the second time in my career that I’ve seen this type of tumor," Michelle Kaplinski, MD, fetal cardiologist, said.

Doctors worked with the parents to determine the best course of action. At 26 weeks, they performed a cesarean section birth and took the newborn to the adjoining operating room to perform open heart surgery.

Michael Ma, MD, pediatric heart surgeon, performed the surgery in only six minutes and completely removed the tumor. Baby Angelina was the youngest preemie he had ever operated on.

The infant stayed for over four months in the NICU. She did not require any additional surgery or chemotherapy.

Now, Angelina is six months old and continuing to do well.

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