Filmed across a year in one of the UK’s leading Fetal Medicine Units at St George’s Hospital, South London, this new three-part documentary series is told through the eyes of the women and the medical teams who treat them.
Following expectant parents as they navigate medically and emotionally complex pregnancies, each episode reveals how, or even if, the parents and staff should intervene with the pregnancies. Using cutting-edge and pioneering new techniques, the fetal medicine clinicians face the most complex and challenging cases that exist in the womb but for some of the parents, the option to intervene comes too late.
This episode follows the Fetal Medicine’s clinical lead, Professor Basky Thilaganathan, as he and his team aim to save the lives of babies in the womb who are all facing complex and rare medical conditions. Throughout the film Basky demonstrates the multi-faceted aspects of fetal medicine; from the incredibly complex cutting-edge operations they perform on babies whilst inside the womb, to the unpredictable nature of pregnancies showing us that, despite the team’s best efforts, unfortunately not all pregnancies go to plan.
Becky has been referred to St George’s after a scan at her local hospital revealed that, at nineteen weeks into her pregnancy, her baby had developed an extremely rare lung tumour. The tumour is growing rapidly, putting pressure on both the baby’s heart and lungs causing it to go into heart failure. Basky and his team must delicately laser a blood vessel which is feeding the tumour, in order to stop it growing and relieve pressure on the heart and lungs. If left untreated, the baby will die inside the womb within days.
Ann-Marie is twenty six weeks pregnant and carrying identical twins. One of the twins has a condition called Selective Growth Restriction and isn’t getting all the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow; it is half the size of the larger twin and is at risk of dying. However, if the smaller twin dies, this can affect the chances of the larger twin surviving too. Ann-Marie and her partner face an agonising weekly check to see whether the twins will be able to continue to grow, or whether they may lose one- or both- of the babies.
Randika and her husband both have a form of restricted growth, commonly known as dwarfism, which for her means that carrying a baby and giving birth is more high risk. After previously having suffered several miscarriages, Basky and his team need to closely monitor Randika’s pregnancy and birth to make sure that both she and her baby survive delivery.
Tune into Channel 4 tonight at 9pm to watch Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles live, or catch up via All 4.
Join us on Twitter as we live tweet throughout the episode and get involved using #BabySurgeons.