Ground-breaking Australian-first surgery was performed at the Mater Hospital on Saturday with surgeons performing prenatal in-utero surgery to treat a fetus with spina bifida. The team from The Mater led by director maternal fetal medicine Dr Glenn Gardener was joined by expert surgeons from Vanderbilt University Hospital in the USA, who have been performing this type of surgery since 1997. Dr Glenn Gardener performs groundbreaking in-utero surgery on a baby with spina bifida. Photo: SuppliedThe operation involved making an incision in the mother's abdomen to access the uterus, then making an incision to reach the lower back of the fetus to correct the abnormality associated with spina bifida. Dr Gardener said the surgery was widely available in the United States and Europe but this was the first time it has been performed here.