Team of specialists perform life-changing surgery on new-born baby

A team of 34 specialists from Manchester performed a rare and life-changing surgery on a baby during the Coronavirus pandemic.

For the third time in the hospitals’ history, specialists from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) and Saint Mary’s Hospital (SMH), part of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, safely performed an Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT). 

This rare and complicated procedure is performed when there is a known obstruction of the baby’s airway, meaning that the baby would be unable to breathe when they are born.

The multidisciplinary team from across both hospitals was made up of Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons, neonatologists, obstetricians, midwives, obstetric and paediatric anaesthetists and theatre teams.

The large teratoma, a rare type of tumour in Kayleigh’s neck was pressing on the food pipe which began to cause increased fluid in the womb. 

During delivery the lump in the neck would block the airway, so an exit procedure was vital to ensure survival.

In order to prepare for a safe delivery, scenario training was carried out by the specialist team to map out the complex, life-saving surgery. The training session took place on 17th April, with a view to perform a planned caesarean section on Monday, April 20th. However, just the following day (Saturday, April 18th), Deborah’s waters broke and the team of professionals from across both hospitals were mobilised to deliver baby Kayleigh and carry out the surgery.

Neil Bateman Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon at RMCH, said: “Kayleigh weighed 1.3kg (with the teratoma) and the resection surgery to remove more of the lump which was blocking her airway was undoubtedly one of the most challenging operations I have been involved with in my career.”