As an expectant father, I'm particularly fascinated by stories like this!
Several weeks ago in California, a pregnant woman's unborn baby was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, meaning the baby's aortic valve was so tight it was causing blood to back up in the left ventricle of the baby's heart. Therefore, the heart was unable to pump normally.
Without surgery, the baby's left ventricle would not develop properly, and in all likelihood the baby would be born with a life-threatening condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
After first practicing on a grape (about the size of the baby's heart) encased in a gelatin mold (representing the baby's body), a team of doctors in Los Angeles performed the procedure on their patient last month.
Using a needle exactly 11 centimeters long, a wire the width of a hair, and a balloon measuring just a few millimeters in width, the surgeons opened up the narrow valve, all while the baby is still growing inside it's mother!
Read more about this fascinating medical miracle over at the LATimes.
Here's the short video of the procedure!