Double surgery on pregnant mom with brain tumor saves son

Surgery performed at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital on 28-year-old mom-to-be with brain tumor saves her son's life.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

The mother-to-be
The mother-to-be
Hadassah spokesperson office

At six months pregnant, a 28-year-old Israeli mom-to-be realized something was wrong. At first she thought her phone was broken; she couldn’t hear from her right ear. But when she changed ears, the phone was fine. Soon after, her terrible headaches started. She went to a hospital near her home in the Tel Aviv area.

“My life turned upside down when the CT results came through, “she said. “The doctors told me I had a tumor in my head called a meningioma. It was pressing against my brainstem.”

After two weeks of examinations, doctors sent her home and told her to schedule surgery immediately after the birth.

However, her symptoms got worse. At 28-weeks pregnant, she was dizzy and her vision blurred. Doctors immediately transferred her to Hadassah Ein Kerem, telling her that only Hadassah’s neurosurgeons would be able to treat her.

“Due to the hormones in her system during pregnancy, the tumor grew rapidly and we couldn’t wait until the birth to analyze the mother as the pressure on the brain and stem could have done irreparable damage to the her vision and hearing and even endangered the life of the fetus,” said senior Hadassah neurosurgeon Dr. Emil Margolin.

Hadassah convened a team of neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, gynecologists and neonatologists, led by Head of Neurosurgery Prof. Yigal Shoshan.

“Removing the tumor in pregnancy could have caused excessive bleeding because of the mother’s increased blood flow,” Dr. Margolin explained. “On the other hand premature birth involves risks and possible complications for the newborn.”

It was decided to carry out a Cesarean delivery in week 30 and to examine the mother with a view to removing the tumor 10 days later.

Hadassah staff placed the mother and fetus under round-the-clock observation.

Gynecologist Dr. Doron Kabiri operated, with anesthesiologist Dr. Felix Zibislawski.

Ten days later the tumor was removed by Dr. Margolin, with consulting neurosurgeon Prof. Andrew Kaye and neuro-anesthesiologist Dr. Lev Ronin.

“The Cesarean section and tumor removal were very successful,” said Dr. Margolin. “The mother feels a lot better and the baby boy is getting stronger every day. This was no ordinary case and it presented us with dilemmas which required collaborative decision-making. This cooperation among the various hospital department, a Hadassah hallmark, was excellent and together with the family we made the right decisions for mother and child.”

“Hadassah’s doctors and nurses involved me in the entire process, including the decision-making. I felt safe and calm,” said the mom.

The mom is also grateful for the neonatal care at Hadassah Ein Kerem under the leadership of Prof. Smadar Even-Tov-Friedman.

“A big thank you to all the doctors who treated my baby and me at Hadassah. They saved us. I will be grateful for the rest of my life.”



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