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Naval Medical Center San Diego Performs Surgery On Fetus (Video)

NMCSD Performs Groundbreaking Prenatal Surgery

The surgical staff at Naval Medical Center San Diego recently performed an Ex-utero Intrapartum Treatment - the first time the groundbreaking procedure has ever been conducted at that hospital.

The revolutionary surgery is performed on a fetus to clear his or her airway.

The patient was little Charlie Bardos, son of Alina Bardos and Marine Sgt. Brandon Bardos. Sgt. Bardos is assigned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay.


Prenatal imaging showed Charlie had what's called micrognathia, the medical term for an extremely small jaw. Doctors felt his micrognathia could've led to fatal consequences at birth, so the Ex-utero Intrapartum Treatment was performed.

Cmdr. Matthew Brigger, NMCSD's pediatric otolaryngologist, said of the surgery:

"On the surface, the procedure is a C-section where the fetus is partially delivered for airway management. In reality, the procedure is a highly-coordinated effort involving the expertise of the pediatric otolaryngology, maternal fetal medicine, pediatric anesthesia and obstetrical anesthesia teams."

Surgeons at NMCSD say the procedure was a success. However, because Charlie was born at 35 weeks gestation, he could face long-term medical issues.