Iraqi baby with spina bifida undergoes surgery for fluid buildup - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Iraqi baby with spina bifida undergoes surgery for fluid buildup

ATLANTA (AP) _ An Iraqi infant brought to the United States to be treated for severe birth defects underwent surgery Friday to drain fluid in her skull, doctors said.

The tube that was inserted in Noor al-Zahra's skull was needed to prevent permanent brain injury, officials at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said. The buildup is beneath the outer membrane that covers the brain, and not in the brain itself.

The procedure was successful, according to her physician, Dr. Roger Hudgins.

Doctors say Noor, now 5 1/2 months old, is likely to remain paraplegic but otherwise healthy.

U.S. troops found Noor during a raid on a home in Iraq in December and noticed paralysis and a growth on her back. They arranged medical care in the United States for her condition, spina bifida, in which the backbone and spinal cord do not close after birth.

She had surgery at the Atlanta hospital Jan. 9 to reposition her spinal cord, and has had other minor procedures to remove fluid buildup in her back and to correct a foot deformity.

The baby, her father and grandmother are staying with an Atlanta-area family while she recovers.
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