A Special Mother’s Day: Yadira’s gift of life

Oncology and gynecology team at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center change one woman’s life

Maria Villar
Maria Villar (left) is pictured with her Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Patrick Anderson, who is holding Yadira; Obstetrician Dr. Karen Koscica, husband Fernondo Martinez, and 8-year son Edgar.

NEWARK, N.J. (May 8, 2013) – Bayonne resident Maria Villar beams when she describes her greatest Mother’s Day gift. Her daughter is her favorite present this year. Ms. Villar, a 37-year old cervical cancer survivor, thought she would not be able to conceive and give birth a second time. According to Patrick Anderson, M.D., a gynecological oncologist at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Ms. Villar is the first documented patient in New Jersey who is known to achieve a pregnancy after a radical trachelectomy for cervical cancer. The surgery was conducted using the daVinci robotic surgical system.

Weighing 2 lbs., 7 oz. at birth, Yadira could fit into the palm of her mother’s hand. Now, nearly six months later, the baby weighs almost 10 lbs. and she is healthy. Although early detection was essential for Ms. Villar, many patients like her are unable to conceive. According to Dr. Anderson, a radical hysterectomy is the recommended surgical approach for the treatment of early stage cervical cancer patients. When Ms. Villar was diagnosed in November 2010 she wanted a second child, not a hysterectomy. Seven months after having surgery in March 2011, her doctors told her she could try to conceive. Nine months later, she was pregnant. This wife and mother of 8-year old Edgar remains grateful that health care professionals and robotic surgery helped her deliver Yadira.

“We are extremely pleased that Ms. Villar entrusted her care to a surgeon, an obstetrician and a team of health professionals from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center,” said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey and Executive Vice President of Barnabas Health. “Our specialists at The Beth continue to be recognized for their expertise, experience and success in high-risk pregnancy and delivery.” Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey is home to the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in New Jersey and is a state-designated regional perinatal center for the State of New Jersey. The NICU provides specialized care for newborns and offers New Jersey’s only Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy for infants in severe respiratory distress.

Dr. Anderson led the surgery using the daVinci robot to remove the cervix, blood vessels, para-cervical tissues and the upper part of the vagina. Then, the upper part of the vagina was attached to the lower part of the uterus. A stitch called, a cerclage, was placed around the lower uterus. This was essential for helping Villar retain her pregnancy. The team of physicians included Obstetrician Dr. Karen Koscica, who specializes in high-risk births at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.

Cervical cancer worldwide is the number one gynecological cancer. In the United States, cervical cancer is the second most prevalent gynecological cancer followed by uterine cancer. Cervical cancer is related to the Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Dr. Anderson also mentioned, “Of cancers of the reproductive system, cervical cancer is the second most common in all women. It usually affects women between the ages of 35 and 55.” This cancer may be caused by HPV, which is transmitted during sexual intercourse.

However, Villar is looking forward to this weekend. “It’s a special case. Nobody thought I would get pregnant,” said Villar. “The thought of having my son and my daughter with us on Mother’s Day is so exciting. This is the greatest gift ever.”

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is one of the top three in heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Barnabas Health affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at www.newarkbeth.com.

About CHoNJ
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. For a referral to a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 1-888-724-7123.