Baby Oliver Setten was saved by a rare surgery performed by a team of 30 doctors and nurses at his birth. According to Komo News , a unique and rarely used C-section technique helped to keep him alive.
During an ultrasound at 18 weeks, Josh Setten and Lauren Sanford learned that their son Oliver had a facial abnormality that would make it difficult for him to breathe on his own. His jaw was smaller than average and he had a cleft palate. “This is a major emergency for the baby if the baby cannot breathe or have airway access,” explained Dr. Edith Cheng, the vice chair for OBGYN at UW Medicine, and one of Sanford’s doctors. Dr. Cheng used the information learned during the ultrasound to prepare for Oliver’s birth and ensure his best chances of survival.
The rare type of C-section they used is called the ex-utero intrapartum treatment, or EXIT. Doctors at UW Medicine in Washington, where Oliver was born, only use this technique about once a year. They knew they would need to insert a tiny breathing tube to help Oliver breathe immediately after birth, but that would take precious time away from Oliver if he were already detached from the placenta when they began. So doctors decided to use the EXIT procedure, partially delivering Oliver via C-section and then inserting the tube before completing his delivery.