MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A medical breakthrough is giving hope to pregnant women struggling to carry their babies full term.
A surgery that Mid-South women once had to drive hundreds of miles to undergo is now being performed in Memphis.
After years of loss, Andranika Arnett says she finally feels hopeful.
“Yeah, God has the last say so I am never giving up,” Arnett said.
Doctors say a weak cervix caused Arnett to miscarry four times.
Her faith was restored in October when she met Dr. Sanjeev Kumar with Baptist Medical Group. Dr. Kumar performed what's called a cervical cerclage procedure - or cervical stitch - a suture sewn into and around the cervix early in a woman's pregnancy and then removed once the greatest risk of miscarriage has passed.
“The procedure itself works really, really good,” Dr. Kumar said. “It provides a lot of hope for these women as they have a really good shot at achieving pregnancy that will last.”
Before last fall, the surgery left a scar on a woman’s body. Now it’s less invasive and local doctors use a robot to perform the procedure.
“Since I have had this surgery nothing can keep me down,” Arnett said. “Nothing is stressing me out. I am happy about this. “
One month after surgery, Arnett was pregnant.
While it's too soon to be picking out baby names or clothes, this mom and dad glow with happiness thinking about welcoming their first child together.
“He is more excited than I am,” Arnett said. “He wants a boy, but I don’t think we are having a boy. I think it’s going to be a girl.”
In almost 90 percent of cases, the cervical cerclage helps prevent miscarriage or premature labor caused by cervical incompetence.