Beninati and Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment team save baby with innovative surgical intervention

UW Health recently shared a remarkable story from the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center: the team performed a specialized surgery in February 2023 that saved a Waupun baby’s life. Michael Beninati, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, co-directs the center along with pediatric general surgeon Inna Lobeck, MD and was a crucial member of the health care team that performed the surgery: 

The surgery is called ex-utero intrapartum treatment, or EXIT, which enables the team to partially deliver the baby via cesarean and establish a safe airway before completing the cesarean delivery. 

They delivered the head, neck, one arm and the 17-centimeter tumor blocking the baby’s airway while Ashley was under anesthesia. They had 30 minutes to establish an airway around the tumor while keeping the rest of the baby supported by her mom via the placenta, which provides oxygen and blood flow. After 30 minutes placental support would run out and the baby would need to be fully delivered. The expert team completed the procedure in just 12 minutes.” 

You can read about this extraordinary story from UW Health: Surgical Procedure Saves Baby’s Life at Birth 

The story was also covered extensively in local and statewide media: 

Waupun baby's life saved with surgical procedure following birth at UW Health – Channel 3000 

UW Health surgeons applauded for life-saving fetal procedure – NBC 15 

UW Health doctors save baby’s life with surgery during delivery – WKOW  

Doctors remove massive tumor from Waupun baby after birth – WBAY  

UW Health doctors remove nearly two-pound tumor from baby’s neck in life-saving surgery – Fox 11 

Incredible work, Dr. Beninati!