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For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2016
Media Contact:
Kai Hill
khill@med.miami.edu
305-243-3249
Lidia Amoretti
lidia.amoretti@jhsmiami.org
305-801-6556

UHEALTH SURGEONS PERFORM RARE LIFESAVING HEART SURGERY ON NEWBORN STILL ATTACHED TO MOTHER'S PLACENTA

EXIT procedure first to be performed in the state on a premature baby with a large tumor and fluid in the heart

The family of a 4-month-old infant will take their baby home from Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial after UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons performed a life-saving surgery while the baby was still attached to her mother’s placenta. Doctors removed a plum-sized tumor that was covering the heart of Symphony Harmony Edgecomb and crushing her lungs — all before completing a cesarean section to deliver the baby. The surgery was the first to be performed in Florida on a premature baby with this type of tumor. 

The journey to this point started when, at 24 weeks pregnant with her second child, Nicole Hannah-Edgecomb went to see her OB/GYN for a regular check-up because an ultrasound revealed her baby had fluid around the heart. Four weeks later, another ultrasound showed a large mass was covering her baby’s heart.

“At that point, my doctor realized the severity of my baby’s case,” remembers Nicole. “I was sent to another hospital to receive treatment, but that hospital too couldn’t handle my case. I was told my only hope was Jackson Memorial Hospital.”

At 29 weeks, Nicole was transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she began receiving care from Salih Yasin, M.D., UHealth obstetrician/gynecologist at Jackson Memorial Hospital, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and the delivery of multiple babies. 

Two weeks later, a multidisciplinary team of UHealth doctors and Jackson nurses prepared for an uncommon and complex surgery to save the baby at Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Medical Center. On February 23, doctors performed a Cesarean section and delivered Symphony Harmony Edgecomb, a four-pound, four-ounce baby girl. Immediately following the delivery, in the same operating room, Eliot Rosenkranz, M.D., UHealth pediatric cardiac surgeon, and his team performed an Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) procedure, in which they opened the baby’s chest while she was still attached to the mother’s placenta. 

The placenta provided the baby with oxygenated blood from her mother, while doctors removed fluid around the baby’s heart and the plum-size teratoma, or tumor covering the heart, and immediately placed a trachea to help her breathe. The tumor was crushing both of her lungs, which would have made survival outside the womb impossible.   

Immediately after the two-hour surgery, Symphony was moved to Holtz Children’s pediatric intensive care unit. After one week there, she was transferred to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where she has received care for the past four months.

“It was so stressful. I felt so much fear,” her mother, Nicole, recalled. “I often wondered how I would handle coming home without my baby.”

Nicole and her husband, Steven Edgecomb, say their faith and support from family and friends kept them strong. 

“Every day is a miracle. I’m just amazed at her progress,” Steven said. “She’s come a long way.  I’m so grateful to the doctors and nurses.”

On Friday, June 17, Symphony will finally go home with her family, where she will meet her big brother, 18-month-old Jeremiah, for the first time.
Photos of surgery can be downloaded from this link: http://bit.ly/1YuM7Z2

Who:

Salih Yasin, M.D., UHealth OB/GYN
Eliot R. Rosenkranz, M.D., UHealth pediatric cardiac surgeon
Anthony R. Hogan, M.D., UHealth pediatric general surgeon
Cristina Navarrete, M.D., UHealth neonatologist
Shahnaz Duara, M.D., UHealth neonatologist
Maria M. Buch, UHealth neonatologist
Symphony Harmony Edgecomb, Holtz Children’s patient
Nicole Hannah-Edgecomb & Steven Edgecomb, parents

What:

The family of a 4-month-old infant will take their baby home from Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial after UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons performed a life-saving surgery while the baby was still attached to her mother’s placenta.

When: June 17, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
Where:

Holtz Children’s Hospital, Room 6015
1611 NW 12th Ave.
Miami, FL 33136

Editor's Note:

Media can park in the media lot at Ryder Trauma Center.  Meet a representative of Jackson’s PR outside of Holtz Children’s at 2:15 p.m.

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Jackson Health System
1611 N.W. 12th Avenue Miami, FL 33136