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China drafts guideline for in-womb surgery

SHANGHAI doctors will carry out a complicated fetal surgery to cut blood supply to a sick fetus to ensure the growth of a healthy twin through in-womb intervention.

In-womb surgery to treat a fetus with a tumor or a congenital heart disease or a spinal defect will be conducted jointly by obstetric and pediatric experts, according to today's news brief about a national fetal medicine conference to be held in Shanghai this weekend.

"The in-womb treatment of fetal diseases can prevent congenital defects," said Dr Duan Tao, president of Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Pediatrics Hospital. "The therapy will be extended to all diseases affecting the health of a fetus."

He said China's first guideline for fetal medicine will be formulated during the conference from Friday to Sunday. It will regulate and guide the practice of maternal-fetal medicine in the country.

The guideline will determine what kinds of diseases should be treated through in-womb intervention and how the surgery is conducted to ensure the safety of both the mother and the fetus.


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