An unborn baby was removed from its mother’s womb for life-changing surgery before being put safely back inside, her mother has revealed.
Surgeons performed the pioneering operation at 24 weeks’ gestation after scans revealed the feotus had spina bifida.
The condition can leave sufferers with walking difficulties and even paralysis because the spinal cord does not fully develop during pregnancy.
Surgeons from University College London and Great Ormond Street hospital, along with Belgium colleagues, managed to repair the spinal cord and it is now hoped the baby will be born healthily in April.
It is believed to be only the fourth time the operation has been attempted in the UK.