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Dr. Ruben Quintero: Not to hurt the mother is crucial by any in utero treatment methods.

04.11.2013, 17:21 Print version
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About half a century ago it was impossible even to dream of treatment of a baby while it is still in the womb (in utero).  Today fetal therapy is a young, but promising field of prenatal medicine, quickly developing all over the world.

With advanced medical equipment coming to our hospitals, Ukraine is no exception to this rule. Apart from equipment, the know-how is the key thing to foster the development of fetal surgery in our country. Ukrainian surgeons travel abroad to advance their knowledge on fetal treatment. And for sure, a visit of a world-renowned fetal therapy specialist is a wonderful opportunity for them.

Robert Quintero, director of the Jackson Fetal Therapy Instituteand the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is a widely known fetal surgeon who visited Kiev to deliver a lecture and share his knowledge and experience in the field of fetal therapy with his Ukrainian colleagues. Dr. Quintero visited Kiev following in invitation of Ukraine 3000 and Children’s Hospital of the Future.

Entitled “Fetal therapy and surgery”, the lecture took place on November 4, 2013, at the Hall of the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Kiev. The audience comprised not merely the institute’s staff members, but physicians from all over the country. Kateryna Yushchenko, Head of the Supervisory Board of Ukraine 3000, attended the event.

Dr. Ruben Quintero gave an overview of fetal therapy, its history, key principles and features. He explored the treatment of serious conditions, e.g. congenital diaphragmatic hernia, fetal bladder defects, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (a complication by multiple gestations involving a blood vessels abnormality) etc.

In addition, Dr. Quintero introduced the audience to the methods he himself has developed and successfully applied to treat birth defects. These pioneering procedures ensured 100% survival rate among babies with severe conditions.

During the lecture, Dr. Quintero stressed several times the importance of not harming the expectant mother. “When you plan any in utero corrections, your main concern has to be not to harm the mother. The mother cannot influence the operation outcome in any way, thus our task is to do her no harm”, he underscored.
 
In 2012, the Institute for Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology obtained unique fetoscopy equipment from Children’s Hospital of the Future. So, today the performance of some operations described by Dr. Ruben Quintero is affordable at the institution. “We need just several  more technology units, and then all of the methods we learnt about from our American colleague will be applicable”, Iryna Hordienko, Head of the Fetal Medicine Department, is convinced.

The lecture, hinted both Prof. Dr. Quintero and the Institute’s Director Yuriy Antypkin, gave start to the US-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of fetal treatment. Which form the cooperation will acquire is not yet quite sure, but both sides hope for a long-term successful collaboration.


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