Kourtney Kardashian shares details about her son’s ‘terrifying’ fetal surgery for the first time

Weeks before welcoming her fourth child with husband Travis Barker, Kourtney Kardashian revealed she’d undergone urgent fetal surgery. Now, the mom of four is opening up about the “terrifying” experience, sharing more details about the surgery that saved her son’s life.

In the season five premiere of The Kardashians, the 45-year-old shared that she’d planned to have a fetal scan done at home so that her three children—sons Mason, 14, Reign, 9, and daughter Penelope, 11—could see baby Rocky. But she says something caught the doctor’s eye, which led to her having emergency surgery the very next day.

“The doctor who will come to the house to do the scan is a high-risk doctor, who’s really detailed and thorough at looking for everything,” she said in the episode, which aired on May 23. “And something caught his eye where he wanted me to see a couple specialists.”

Barker, the drummer for Blink-182, had just flown out of the country as part of the band’s tour, so Kardashian underwent surgery the next morning before he was able to make it back home, which she called “terrifying” and “stressful.”

Though she didn’t elaborate on what caused the necessary surgery, she said the doctor’s keen eye “saved everything,” adding, “The timing of it was miraculous. … I just feel so grateful that, you know, how everything played out and for the doctors that really helped make the best decisions that really saved our baby.”

The reality star’s doctor explained to her that “’there’s nothing that you did wrong, it’s not age-related. It’s like just a super rare thing that happened.’ But then I was like, after this happened, I was like God’s got this. We’re good. This is a miracle and I’m gonna be super positive.”

During it all, Kardashian kept an even keel until it was all over. “There’s some superpower that I have that in emergency situations, I get really calm. And then right when we left I was like, ‘Okay, I could take a deep breath. I could cry. I could get it out,’ ” she said.

“[The] doctor was like, ‘That was a trauma and I want you guys to be able to take a second and know that that was really traumatic,’” she added.

After the surgery, Kardashian says she “felt good,” albeit understandably vigilant in the final weeks of her pregnancy. “Yeah, if I don’t feel movement for like, five minutes, I’m like shaking him up because of the emergency fetal surgery that I had to have,” she recalled.

“I’m now like mostly on bed rest because there’s a hole in the amniotic sac from where they had to go into the surgery,” she continued. “So I’m not allowed to drive, I’m not allowed to stand for more than 20 minutes. I’m really not leaving the house.”

Fetal surgery is relatively rare because of its complexity and limited number of conditions it treats. It’s a new and emerging field in medicine, and only about 20 hospitals in North America have experts who can perform it. Fetuses that undergo surgical intervention have an 80% to 90% survival rate today, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Because of the risks associated with fetal surgery, it’s only performed to treat specific life-threatening conditions or those that could cause serious long-term health problems if left untreated. Some of these conditions include Spina bifida, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Kardashian says she was glad to have shared her experience on social media, recalling that people felt “grateful” since not everyone feels comfortable sharing their own similar stories. “So many people don’t feel comfortable, even telling their friend or their family members because they’re like, ‘Did they do something wrong or different things?’” she noted.

We’re so glad she was able to get through such a scary time with the unconditional support of her doctors, especially since not every pregnant patient has access to such thorough and efficient care. We’re also glad mom and baby are now doing well.

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