Doctors remove massive tumor from Waupun baby after birth
Doctors inserted a breathing tube before separating the newborn from the umbilical cord
WAUPUN, Wis. (WBAY) - A baby girl from Waupun is here today thanks to a life-saving surgery that allowed her to breathe despite a large tumor that grew while she was in the womb.
It was a big shock, physically and emotionally, for Andy and Ashley Manderle when the mass was discovered during a check-up when she was 16 weeks pregnant.
“I was nervous, I was scared that we were gonna lose her,” Ashley Manderle said.
Doctors discovered a large mass on their baby and fear it would block her airway at birth. A team of doctors at the UW Health Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center developed a specialized plan, using a version of a C-section call an ex-utero intrapartum treatment, or EXIT.
“We partially deliver the baby, so in Ashley and Layla’s case, we delivered Layla’s head and the neck and the mass, as well as one arm for some monitoring, and we were able to get an airway that way,” said Dr. Inna Lobeck, UW Health pediatric and fetal surgeon.
With this delivery, baby Layla stayed connected to Ashley through the umbilical cord while doctors spent 12 minutes inserting a breathing tube.
”It was bigger than her head, yeah, it was about a 17-centimeter mass and, you know, I don’t know what normal, not normal is because this is kind of a rare situation to begin with,” Lobeck said.
“I was scared to be put under, I hate being put under, I hate surgery and she was my first major surgery where I had to be put under like that,” Manderle said.
Ashley delivered her other six children naturally, making this delivery especially concerning.
”My biggest fear out of this whole thing was she was not going to make it or I was going to go to sleep and I wasn’t going to come back, Manderle said.
Doctors didn’t want Layla born too prematurely, but she also needed to be delivered at the American Family Children’s Hospital, which is about an hour drive from the couple’s home in Waupun.
”We wanted Layla to be as mature as possible but we also didn’t want Ashley to deliver her on the side of the freeway driving down here,” Lobeck said.
Four days after her birth, doctors removed Layla’s mass.
”She is a happy, healthy baby, doesn’t know that anything has happened and, you know, I tell Ashley and Andy that they can remind her of all of the stress she caused when she’s asking for the car keys in 16 years,” Lobeck said.
“I did not want to do it but everything I did throughout my whole pregnancy was to keep her safe,” Manderle said.
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