Doctors Use Magnets Instead of Invasive Surgery to Save Newborn

Doctors Use Magnets Instead of Invasive Surgery to Save Newborn

For a child born with birth defects, the challenges can be huge. In the case of Patrick Divricean an intestinal defect resulted in some innovative thinking on the part of his doctor and parents and the use of magnets to solve his problem.

Doctors Use Magnets Instead of Invasive Surgery to Save Newborn
A Membrane and Magnet Power

Patrick was born with a membrane in his intestines that was causing a blockage. The membrane did not allow stool to pass naturally through his system. Without radical surgery to remove the membrane, he would probably die. Faced with major invasive surgery as the only option, Patrick’s parents asked his surgeon if he could think of another option. His solution proved to be simple and magnetic.

Using small industrial strength magnets, the surgeon inserted them on either side of the membrane in Patrick’s intestines. The hope was that the magnets would join and destroy the membrane, removing the need for invasive surgery to remove it and resection Patrick’s digestive system.

Magnets historically have been used in other surgical procedures to create drainage holes in intestinal tissues, straighten dips in chests and lengthen the esophagus in patients. Although the solution to Patrick’s problem was experimental at best, it offered hope for a less radical form of surgery to save his life.

Patrick’s doctor spoke to his parents at length about the potential dangers of his suggested approach. Nobody had ever performed this procedure and the use of magnets in this manner was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If the magnets perform as expected, Patrick would have to undergo the surgery they were attempting to avoid.

Thankfully, Patrick’s surgeon was right. Within days of being inserted, the magnets joined, pinching the membrane and cutting of the blood supply to the membrane. As a result, it quickly weakened and broke and the doctor removed the magnets within a week.

Nearly six months after Patrick was born, he had his first bowel movement on his own. His parents were delighted at the innovative and creative solution to Patrick’s problem.

– The Alternative Daily

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