Children's Minnesota in the News

Rare open fetal tumor removal surgery gives Alexa a second chance at life

Kare 11 shares the touching story of Alexa Mendoza, a toddler who was one of only about a dozen babies in the world to have survived a rare open fetal surgery to remove a tumor while still in her mother’s womb. Children’s Minnesota is one of just a few hospitals across the country that is able to perform this complex and risky procedure.

At 23 weeks, the tumor was one and a half times the size of Alexa. Children’s Dr. Joseph Lillegard performed a risky fetal intervention to give her the chance to live. After the successful operation, she was placed back in her mother’s womb to grow for another five weeks.

Alexa is now a rambunctious and energetic toddler, close to celebrating her second birthday. Learn more about her story by watching the Kare 11 segment.

Dina Elrashidy