‘Life changing’ spinal surgery for unborn babies is to be rolled out on the NHS from next April
- The procedure, performed in the womb, will help unborn babies with spina bifida
- It will reduce the likelihood of bladder, bowel and kidney conditions in later life
- The treatment will be routinely offered to mothers on the NHS from April 2019
Spinal surgery for unborn babies is to become routinely available on the NHS next spring.
The life-changing procedure, performed in the womb, will help babies with spina bifida, NHS England said.
It will reduce the likelihood of bladder, bowel and kidney conditions later in life, and improve walking.
The life-changing procedure, performed in the womb, will help babies with spina bifida, NHS England said (file photo)
It is one of several treatments that will be routinely offered on the NHS from April 2019.
Children with tuberous sclerosis complex will benefit from the new drug everolimus.
And a tablet to widen blood vessels will help those with pulmonary arterial hypertension, which causes high blood pressure.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said the NHS was a world leader in innovation.
He said: ‘NHS England is determined to ensure every penny is wisely spent, maximising the money available for life-saving, life-changing medicines and procedures like these.’
The surgery will reduce the likelihood of bladder, bowel and kidney conditions later in life, and improve walking (file photo)
Kate Steele, chief executive of charity Shine, said the announcement was ‘very good news’ for babies with spina bifida.
She said: ‘Pre-natal surgery has been practised for several years in other countries, but now that the surgery is set to be procured in the UK will mean that far fewer parents-to-be will have to travel abroad and stay far from home for the surgery.
‘They will be closer to the important family and medical support networks they will need before, during and after surgery.’