In the past few years, I have been part of a team that has performed several procedures to save the lives of unborn babies. The EXIT (ex-utero intrapartum treatment) procedure is a way to deliver a baby safely when he or she has been diagnosed with a life-threatening lung or airway problem before birth. This might include a head, neck or lung tumor. The procedure helps ensure the baby will be able to breathe after birth.

During an EXIT procedure, a team of specialists—including a perinatologist, neonatologist and pediatric surgeon—put the mother and unborn baby to sleep with anesthesia. An incision is made in the lower belly just like in a cesarean section. The baby gets its oxygen through the umbilical cord until a safe way is found to help the baby breathe. Then, the baby is delivered through a C-section. The Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin is the only place in Wisconsin that performs this procedure. The center is a joint program of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

My work is very rewarding for several reasons. First, we use cutting-edge medicine to save a baby that otherwise may have not survived. Second, it’s gratifying to be part of a team representing three institutions that work closely together for the benefit of a patient. At the end of the day, these cases represent why I, and others on the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin team, chose to practice medicine.

Robert Chun, MD~ Robert Chun, MD, pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Chun is part of a team of specialists that provides medical consultation and treatment for pregnant women and their babies through the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin.

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