Baby Lake Saved Before Birth

Baby Lake Saved Before Birth

Baby Lake's life was saved before she was born.
In a first-of-its-kind surgery, a baby who would not have survived a traditional delivery receives life-saving fetal surgery.
“We were 20 weeks pregnant and we had just our regular check-up ultrasound,” Savannah Perry told Ivanhoe.
Every expectant mother’s greatest fear is when a problem appears during an otherwise normal pregnancy.
“We didn’t even know if she was going to survive. They did another ultrasound about a week later and at that time they said it looked like there was a cyst inside of her lung,” Savannah said.
A non-cancerous, benign cyst was growing next to her unborn baby’s left lung. 
“I think there was a significant risk once she was delivered. She was fine in utero, but once she was delivered, we were asking the lungs to support her.  It just wouldn’t have worked.  So, we knew we had to come up with a separate strategy,” Dr. Timothy Crombleholme, Fetal Surgeon, Surgeon-In-Chief, Children’s Hospital Colorado, told Ivanhoe.
The strategy—at 36 weeks, half delivered, and still attached to the placenta, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Colorado removed the cyst before delivering the baby. 
“By the time Lake was delivered, her left lung was touching her right chest wall.  It had phenomenally increased in size and had compressed the right lung,” Dr. Croblemholme said.
“She is doing amazing. She is learning to walk. She walks around furniture now. She loves anywhere she is not supposed to be,” Savannah said.
Baby Lake is now 11 months old and her left lung has almost returned to its normal size. Doctors believe she will make a full recovery and be just like any other kid as she grows up.

BACKGROUND: The lungs are the most crucial organs in a person’s body. Of all of the body’s organs, the lungs are the last to develop and are not completely finished until after birth. The lungs have the largest number of health problems in babies and young children that include asthma, viral, and bacterial infections. Unborn babies do not have a need for lung development because they rely on the placenta to transfer carbon dioxide and oxygen. After a baby is born, the chest cavity expands and takes in air. (Source:
FETAL SURGERY:  Doctors at Colorado Fetal Care Center performed a life-saving surgery on baby, Lake Annabelle Hall while she was still in the womb! While mother, Savannah was 30 weeks pregnant, a team of 43 doctors and nurses operated on her unborn baby to remove a cyst that developed in her left lung. If the cyst was not removed before birth, Lake would not have survived. Doctors decided to conduct the surgery by performing a cesarean section that entailed pulling the baby halfway out of the womb, but leaving her connected to the umbilical cord to serve as life support. The procedure lasted roughly 20 minutes and created a healthy start to baby, Lake’s life. (Source:
EXAMPLES: Unborn babies have been found to develop abnormal cysts and tumors in different regions in the body across the country. A first-of-its-kind surgery was performed last year in Miami, Florida. Baby Lyna Gonzalez was the first to have surgery while in the womb due to a benign tumor on her lips the size of a tennis ball. Another case in Mequon, Wisconsin detailed a procedure that involved the removal of a macro-cyst the size of an orange in the baby’s chest. This procedure was also done in the womb before baby, Elijah Leffingwell was born. (Source: and


Mary Beth Martin, RN
Executive Director
Colorado Institute of Maternal & Fetal Health
Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital
(720) 777-4269

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