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Researchers are developing a three-armed robot to perform keyhole surgery to correct congenital defects on babies in the womb. It could also be used to access a baby's bladder to treat fetal lower urinary tract obstruction -- where babies are unable to urinate in the womb and their bladders become distended. (Courtesy Ku Leuven)

Tiny robotic arm could operate on babies in the womb

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LONDON (CNN) -- Some birth defects in newborns could one day be a thing of the past due to new robotics technologies being developed to perform surgery on babies in the womb.

Spina bifida is one such disease, affecting approximately 1 in 2,500 newborns worldwide, where a lesion on the back leaves the spinal cord exposed in the womb, leading to severe disabilities, learning difficulties, and sometimes death.

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