Hadassah hospital saves mother, baby after brain cancer discovery

At less than six-months of pregnancy, an Israeli mom started feeling dizzy.

October 27, 2019 17:18
1 minute read.
Department of Neurosurgery at Hadassah

Department of Neurosurgery at Hadassah. (photo credit: HADASSAH SPOKESPERSON)

A 28-year-old mother is recovering from a combination brain surgery and Caesarean delivery after nearly losing her baby and her own life.

At less than six-months of pregnancy, an Israeli mom, who asked that her name be kept anonymous, started feeling dizzy. Her vision blurred and she couldn’t hear out of one of her ears, according to a release sent to the media by Hadassah-University Medical Center, in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood.

She went to a Tel Aviv hospital, which performed a computed tomography or CT scan and discovered a cancerous tumor that was growing fast due to the hormones in her system during pregnancy and was pushing up against her brainstem. Then, she was sent to Hadassah.

“We couldn’t wait until the birth to analyze the mother as the pressure on the brain and stem could have done irreparable damage to her vision and hearing and even endangered the life of the fetus,” said senior Hadassah neurosurgeon Dr. Emil Margolin.

A team of Hadassah doctors – neurosurgeons, anaesthesiologists, gynecologists and neonatologists – convened to make a plan of action, knowing that removing the brain tumor and premature delivery were accompanied by the possibility of serious complications. It was decided to carry out a Caesarean at 30 weeks and examine the mother to view and remove the tumor 10 days later.

Both surgeries were successful.

“This was no ordinary case, and it presented us with dilemmas which required collaborative decision-making,” said Margolin. “This cooperation among the various hospital departments … was excellent and together with the family we made the right decisions for mother and child.”

“They saved us,” said the mom. “I will be grateful for the rest of my life.”

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