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Fetal surgery available in St. Louis

By Catherine Wolf, KWMU

St. Louis – Several St. Louis medical institutions have created a new program they say is the first of its kind in Missouri and Illinois.

Doctors at the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute are able to operate through the womb if necessary.

Institute co-director Dr. Ed Yang said surgeons will also use less invasive methods. He said in one case, they used lasers to improve circulation to a fetus' leg.

"Now we're beginning to deal with problems that are going to affect the quality of life of the baby," Yang said. "So, amniotic band syndrome is clearly one where the limb's going to get progressively damaged."

Yang said until the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute opened, women in need of such care had to travel as far as Cincinnati or Houston.