Health problem in unborn baby

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annavc | 16:06 Mon 03rd Jul 2006 | Body & Soul
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My sister is expecting twins any day now, she's 37 weeks and will be induced next week if nothing has happened before then but she's just found out that one of the babies has some sort of problem with her bowel. They think that part of her intestine is effectively dead as there seems to be no blood getting to it. She's been told that the baby will need to have an operation within 24 hours of being born and there are various possiblities of more serious things this could indicate but she won't know until the baby is born. My question is does anyone have any experience of this problem, apparently its quite rare? Also assuming everything goes ok with the operation and it isn't anything more serious how long is she likely to be kept in the hospital. My sister is so worried for the baby and so upset at the thought that she won't be able to bring both babies home at the same time and that they will be seperated as soon as they are born.


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is it Hurschprungs that the baby has got?
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No that's not it. The doctors have said that they think there must have been an interuption to the blood supply at some point and a section of her intestine has effectively died. There is healthy intestine above and below this area but this section is causing a blockage or a break in it.
from what you say, it sounds like the effect (if not the cause) is similar to hurschprungs, which my god son was born with. He had a section of his bowel that was also dead, in his case a section of a few inches. This prevented him pooing, as the bowel couldn't pulse or squeeze the poo out. It's very hard to tell until the baby is born to what degree the bowel is affcted. After a few weeks of consitpation and intermittent pooing, they operated on my gs, and removed the dead section of bowel. As an interim measure, they fitted him with a small bag, on the outside, to gather his poo, and this bag had to be chanegd regularly. This bag was attached to a part of his bowel that was working, and alllowed normal bowel function for a few months (although poo exited thru the bag, not his bum). Then, at about 9months of age, he had a second operation. This was to remove the bag, and re attach the two good, healthy ends of his bowel together, and stitch him up. That was 8 years ago and since his second op, he has never had any problems whatsoever with his bowel function. After first op, he was only in hospital a day or two, second op he was in about 3 or 4 days. I can tell you more about my GS if you want annavc, but i would highly recommenmd your sister talks to her consultant at length about this. I know my GS s parents thought the doctors they dealt with were superb. At least your sister and your family can gather together all the information they can over the next week, to help them cope with what's to come. My GSs parents ended up writing down a list of questions, so they didn't miss anything at all. i think if they know more facts (eg how long is hosp etc) that may help and it may be that they CAN all go home together, and all will be well. If I can tell you anymore (tho I am no expert) do ask. All the very best to you, sister and especially the babies. xxxx
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Thank you Kick, that is reassuring. My sister has said the doctors have been really good and they had one of those 3D scans which allowed them to see the problem pretty clearly. They've told her that they'll have to do xrays when the baby is born and then operate and they seem to want to do this very soon after birth. I think she has been told they'll want to keep her in for at least 3 weeks but better there and looked after by experts I reckon.

I think my sister is just in shock at the moment. She went through almost a year of IVF treatment and then ever since she finally got pregnant everything was going so well, she had finally stopped worrying, thinking she was in the home straight and then this was dropped on them on Friday. Just sheer bad luck I think but fingers crossed everything will be ok.

Thanks for kind words.
with this this bowel problem, the little one will be just fine, honestly. My godson didn't even know he was wearing a bag and was no different from any other baby, except that his nappies didn't poo. If doctors know of the problems, that's great, cos it can all be planned for in advance. tc, hope all goes well, and enjoy your new nieces when they get here! xx
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The doctors do certainly seem prepared, they've even brought the date for her to be induced forward 2 days to ensure its mid-week so that they can be certain all the relevant medical staff will be there.

Thank you for your good wishes, I'm certainly looking forward to being an auntie for the first time.

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