Montreal Children’s Hospital uses magnets to successfully reconnect the baby’s esophagus
TORONTO-Surgeons at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) stated that they have successfully completed a world first in the medical world. They have adopted a new procedure to connect the upper and lower esophagus of pediatric patients with magnets.
Henryk Deneen was born at 33 weeks and was diagnosed with a congenital defect called esophageal atresia, that is, part of his esophagus is missing. This caused the doctor to insert a feeding tube when he was only one day old.
Children with esophageal atresia cannot eat or swallow. In most cases, surgeons can connect the gap between the upper and lower organs. In rare cases, a congenital defect called “long gap atresia” can make the distance longer, and the surgeon must wait until the baby is at least three months old before attempting to stretch and connect the ends of the esophagus through surgery.
In Deneen’s case, the missing part of the organ was too large, and trying to reconnect the ends would be difficult—forcing the surgeon to think outside the medical box.
A team at MCH proposed a hybrid procedure that has never been tried before-they will surgically enter Deneen’s abdomen, swing part of his abdomen up to his chest, and then connect two magnets to try to move the end of the organ Pull towards each other. The team also hand-made a bracket (tube) to help him eat.
Italian doctors have created the type of stent that doctors want to use on Deneen. Although it is already on the market, it has not been approved for use by Health Canada. The MCH team contacted Italian doctors to find out how they made the stent and created their own version using the same technology. The stent keeps Deneen’s newly attached esophagus open as it heals. However, the surgeon has to expand it in stages, from a pinhole large enough to allow milk to pass through.
“The idea is that if your gap is too wide, you can place magnets on each end and let them stretch the tissue and attract until they finally oppose and gather the tissue together,” MCH Director of Pediatric Surgery Dr. Sherif Emil explained to CTV Say national news.
Emil must obtain approval from Health Canada to perform surgery and train the entire neonatal intensive care unit on how to take care of magnet children. The high-risk operation took 10 hours, and X-rays showed that the magnet was working normally for nearly a week, which made Deneen’s family happy.
“That day they [the magnets] It really came together, just the most beautiful emotional day, a day I will not forget,” Deneen’s mother Joy Deneen told CTV National News.
Deneen is now two years old and thanks to the surgeon at MCH, she can eat and swallow.
“This is amazing for me,” Joey said. “Unexpectedly, he would eat with his mouth. He is two years old and can still eat some birthday cake, which is really great.”
Medical teams from all over the world have started contacting MCH surgeons about Deneen’s groundbreaking surgery (known as the “booming” technique), hoping to help other children.
As for Deneen and his family, they are celebrating the little things they once thought were out of reach.
“It’s really a milestone in measuring one milliliter by milliliter, using a little teaspoon here and a little teaspoon there,” Joey explained. “It’s going very smoothly, better than we thought.”