Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Practicing on a jelly mold and grape, procedure is showing signs of success

A medical first for the surgical team at CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, surgeons have successfully performed heart surgery on a fetus. According to newspaper report, it's the first time for the team, which practiced on a grape and jelly mold prior to the procedure..

While the procedure was a first for Southern California. It wasn't the first worldwide.

While the procedure was a first for Southern California. It wasn't the first worldwide.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Fetal heart surgery, Los Angeles, practice, surgery

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Without the surgery, the child would likely have be born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome or HLHS, a life-threatening condition, hospital officials said.

The fetal heart was developing with one valve too narrow, known as severe aortic stenosis, meaning the amount of blood coming into the heart was being severely restricted, backing up in the left ventricle.

Surgeons used a hair-fine wire, a miniature needle, a tiny balloon and a catheter they successfully carried out the operation on the unborn child's heart, which was about the size of a walnut.

"There is no question in my mind that without this procedure the baby would have had HLHS," Dr. Ramen Chmait, assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of L.A. Fetal Therapy, said. "Now the baby has a chance to have the left ventricle recover with some good function."
Using a jelly mold to replicate the mother's body, a single grape representing the fetal heart was used as practice. The nerve-wracking operation was performed on September 25. The mother was given a local anesthetic; the fetus was likewise also given anesthesia and a muscle relaxant so it would not move in the mother's womb during the operation.

A video of the procedure shows the tiny needle being slowly inserted into the beating heart up until the exact point of the narrow aortic valve. This part of the procedure was performed by Dr. Chmait.

Pediatric intervention cardiologist Dr, Frank Ing then threaded a micro-wire, the same width as a hair, through a tiny hole running inside the length of the needle.

According to the Los Angeles, Times, a tiny aortic balloon attached to a catheter was passed down along the wire and inflated to a width of 3.25 mm, stretching and even tearing the narrow aortic valve.

The balloon, wire and needle were then all removed, leaving the catheter in place. sending more blood was flowing into the fetal heart.

While the procedure was a first for Southern California. It wasn't the first worldwide. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust hospital, in London, was the first to carry out the procedure, at its Evelina London Children's Hospital, in 1989.

Discover the true meaning of Christmas!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Health

America drinks less soda: The soda industry sees an all-time-low in sales Watch

Image of The soda industry is changing.


Around five years ago, the soda industry fought back against Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposal of imposing soda taxes in Philadelphia. Soda lobbyists back then organized protests and came up with campaign contributions to local politicians, with the assistance of ... continue reading

5 things people need to know about breast cancer Watch

Image of


Breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of disease that has been affecting women from all over the world. The World Health Organization estimated around 508,000 women die of this disease every year.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While some women fall prey ... continue reading

Early detection test can lead to breast cancer diagnoses before cancer appears Watch

Image of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


A recent study may make it possible to detect breast cancer before the disease develops. Researchers clarified, however, that the study was based on genetic changes from samples taken from healthy breasts and cancerous breasts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

ACLU sues Catholic hospital over refusal to abort children Watch

Image of The ACLU is insisting that Catholic hospitals abort still-living children.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU is suing Trinity Health Corporation, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain, because the organization refuses to perform abortions. The suit is similar to one brought by the ACLU in 2013, that case was dismissed by a Federal court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Baby born with rare medical mystery thrives Watch

Image of Baby Angelito was born with two tubes for a nose.


Baby Angelito was born with two tubes in place of a nose but his doctors are optimistic about his condition.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported the medical mystery as well as Angelito's doctors' belief the infant will soon appear normal.The ... continue reading

20-million-year old flea carrying bubonic plague may be real reason dinosaurs went extinct Watch

Image of The Black Death plague devastated entire populations (Interfoto/Alamy)


Preserved in amber, a 20-million-year-old flea is believed to contain an ancient form of one of the world's deadliest bacteria: Black Death.  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, the fossilized bacteria is ... continue reading

Baby born missing majority of skull miraculously beats the odds, reaches first birthday Watch

Image of


Doctors said that Jaxon Buell only had a few days to live after his birth. The boy was born with a rare condition called the Microhydranencephaly, which left the majority of his skull unable to form. Despite the odds, Jaxon is strong and recently celebrated a milestone ... continue reading

New dangerous cluster of Legionnaires' disease reported in the Bronx Watch

Image of Legionnaires' disease is a lung bacteria that causes flue-like muscle pain, headaches, fevers, drowsiness, chills and in some cases delirium.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new cluster of Legionnaires' disease has been reported in the Bronx and is not related to the cluster outbreak in the Bronx earlier this summer that left 12 dead. NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - Fox5ny reported seven cases of Legionnaires' disease in the ... continue reading

Why fidgeting may actually be good for your health Watch

Image of


When you feel like fidgeting, don't worry about whether it's bad for you or not. New research shows that being restless and fidgeting at work can actually be good for your health. HOLLYWOOD, CA  (Catholic Online) - A series of studies showed that long periods of ... continue reading

What you need to know about the developmental process of Influenza Watch

Image of Inflammation associated with infection in the soft palate stimulates the sneezing and coughing. This propels the flu virus out of the mouth enabling it to spread easily.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Influenza, or "Flu," the respiratory ailment that hits hardest during the colder months, first develops on the roof of the mouth. That's the findings of researchers, who note that flu is then spread through coughs and sneezes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More