Helping unborn babies


For one set of first-time parents an ultrasound showed a frightening complication.

Samantha White is 1-year-old Oliver’s mother. She says, “We had a large tumor on the placenta and we needed to do something right away.” 

Jesse White is Oliver’s father. He says, “It was growing at a pretty rapid pace. There was a good chance another two weeks had gone by, it would have been too late.” 

Dr. Stephen Emery at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital says, “It was a ten-centimeter tumor. It was as big as the baby was.” 

Doctor Emery and interventional radiologist philip orons teamed up to cut off the blood supply to just the tumor, without harming Samantha or her baby.

A minimally invasive technique, called Micro Coil Embolization was used.

Dr. Emery says, “It’s basically just a needle passed through the skin through the wall of the uterus and into the feeding blood vessels.”

After Dr. Emery positioned the needle, Dr. Orons deployed two tiny coils through the catheter.

Dr. Orons says, “Within moments, seconds of putting the coils in place, we saw the blood flow had stopped.” 

With the tumor sealed off, Samantha continued her pregnancy, and delivered oliver full-term. the whites say they’ll tell their son about his medical journey someday.

When Samantha delivered Oliver, the micro coils also came out so there was no need for another surgery to remove them. 

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