“We see hope for a lot of pregnancies where other people see none,” said Dr. Brad Feltis, surgical director of the Michael and Ann Ciresi Midwest Fetal Care Center, in the September issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. The Feltis Special featured Dr. Feltis and his team’s groundbreaking work in the field of fetal surgery.
Dr. Feltis is one of the country’s leading pediatric surgeons specializing in fetal anomalies and operating on fetuses inside the womb. He is also the surgical director of the Midwest Fetal Care Center, the first and largest advanced fetal care center in the Upper Midwest with some of the best outcomes in the country. The article highlighted some of the complex procedures performed at the Midwest Fetal Care Center, and included inspiring stories of this work’s impact on two families.
Siman Abdi’s twin girls were diagnosed in the womb with a dangerous disorder called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which the babies’ blood vessels are connected and one baby receives too much blood while the other receives too little. In majority of cases, this disorder is fatal for one or both babies. Because of the life-saving in-utero surgery performed by Dr. Feltis and his team, both of Siman’s twins are thriving today.
Ella McGinnis was born with an omphalocele, in which her internal organs were outside her body in a sac formed from the umbilical cord. Dr. Feltis operated on Ella immediately after she was born to move her organs inside her body. After successfully completing the surgery, Dr. Feltis made Ella a man-made belly button that he called the “Feltis special.” Today, almost two years old, Ella is talking, eating and playing like any other healthy child her age.
Dr. Feltis believes that the future is bright for the relatively-new field of fetal surgery. The demand for these types of surgeries is already high and continuing to grow. While only some fetal conditions can currently be operated on in the womb, Dr. Feltis is optimistic that even more conditions and deformities will be able to be treated by fetal surgery in the near future.