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Child born with severe mutation. How soon after the birth would the operation be performed?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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We're writing a screenplay and would like to know if a baby was born with a severe mutation (extra legs/arms) would insurance cover the corrective surgery (removing the extra limbs) or would the hospital donate their resources? And how soon after the birth would the operation be performed?
Posted Fri, 31 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad 8 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I am a General Physician from India. Since your queries have not been attended for awhile (which is a rare occurrence on this forum), I shall try answering your questions.

1. Severe genetic / developmental defects occur once in a while, however when they occur and if there is a means to correct it, it is always preferable to correct it immediately.
How sooner this correction needs to be done will depend on how severe the mutation is; what are the chances of survival with the defect and what would be the effect of surgery on the child.

To explain this in your terms, I shall site the example you mentioned - extra legs/arm (polymyelia). Here, the corrective surgery involves a major procedure and exposure to general anesthesia. Therefore the severity of the defect and the chances of physical as well as mental complications on the child are weighed against performing surgery immediately. If the benefits outweigh risks, corrective surgery is undertaken immediately. If the benefits are mild or if the risks are higher, the procedure is delayed until the child is stable and is able to bear surgery and its complication.

2. As far as insurance is concerned, I have learnt from a reliable source that the current laws insist insurance to cover neonatal surgery (all surgeries performed on newborn) immediately if the health insurance covers dependents. If not, the insured member is allowed a 31 days’ time period to pay his/her premium and submit application for dependent coverage.

3. Out here in India, you may be able to find centres that offer corrective surgery to the needy at very low cost price while the hospital donates resources. I am not aware of similar centres in the US.

I hope this suffices.

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