In its mission to save patients’ lives, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is continually raising the bar in providing holistic and compassionate care for women and children.
In its mission to save patients’ lives,
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is continually raising the bar in providing holistic and compassionate care for women and children. Through the decades, dedicated teams of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals have led the way in pursuing life-changing care. Some of the breakthroughs include:
health for women
The KKH Preconception Health Clinic
was established to help women assess
their health status before conceiving,
and to prepare for a healthy pregnancy.
The clinic offers comprehensive tests
to detect medical conditions that
can potentially impact both mother
KK Gynaecological Cancer Centre
Gynaecological cancers, such as
endometrial, cervical and ovarian cancer,
are among the top 10 most common
cancers affecting women in Singapore
As one of the leading centres of care
for women with gynaecological cancers,
KKH’s Gynaecological Cancer Centre
provides comprehensive multidisciplinary
treatment for more than 700 patients who
are newly diagnosed with gynaecological
cancers each year.
Embracing minimally invasive
solutions for women’s cancers
“With advancements in technology, we
are able to perform minimally invasive
surgery to benefit more women with
gynaecological cancers, leading to
improved recovery rates,” says Associate
Professor Timothy Lim, Head, Department
of Gynaecological Oncology, KKH.
“We now perform minimally invasive
surgical interventions for 35 to 40 per
cent of our patients with cervical and
endometrial cancer, compared to less
than 10 percent a decade ago,” he adds.
Since 2016, KKH has started offering
minimally invasive sentinel lymph node
biopsy using fluorescence guided
imaging for patients with early stage
This reduces the risk of surgical
morbidity, while enhancing patient safety.
In 2015, a patient with early stage
cervical cancer successfully conceived
and delivered a healthy
baby after undergoing
trachelectomy in KKH.
KKH provides care for about 12,000 women
and their babies every year.
Round-the-clock care for urgent
KKH’s Urgent Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Centre (O&G) provides round-the-clock
urgent care for acute problems in early
pregnancy such as abdominal pain and
bleeding; as well as post-pregnancy
conditions such as acute vaginal bleeding
and severe pelvic or lower abdominal pain.
Complex surgery for the unborn child
In 2013, a multidisciplinary team
successfully performed an ex-utero
intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure
on a fetus detected to have a large tumour
obstructing the airway.
To ensure the baby would not suffocate
immediately after birth, the multi-stage
surgery involved performing a complex caesarean section to partially deliver the
baby, so as to allow continued oxygen
supply from the umbilical cord until
the baby’s airways could be kept open
and protected. Only then was the baby
EXIT is just one of the many time-sensitive,
multi-stage surgeries performed at KKH,
requiring highly skilled medical professionals
and intricate multidisciplinary coordination
between specialist teams.
“To save this baby, the EXIT delivery took
days of preparation with six teams of medical
specialties working as one,” says team lead
Professor George Yeo, emeritus consultant,
Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, KKH.
“Such a successful outcome for mother
and baby is achieved through detailed
planning, intensive preparation, and precise
multidisciplinary collaboration. There can
be no room for error in providing care for
these special patients.”
In 2015, KKH established a Fetal Surgery
Suite, equipped to treat life-threatening
complications affecting the unborn child.
Neonatal intensive care
Every year, nearly 2,000 babies require
intensive care or special care at KKH’s
Special Care Nursery and Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The NICU is equipped with MRI-safe
incubators and offers dedicated facilities
to provide extracorporeal membrane
oxygenation (ECMO) — an external
mechanical support for the heart — for
babies with reversible cardio-respiratory
It is also self-sufficient, housing
facilities to perform major surgeries and
procedures on newborn babies, and a
dedicated neonatal-surgical unit for
babies recovering from surgeries.
The NICU also introduced in
Singapore, therapies such as lung
surfactant in neonates with respiratory
distress syndrome, High Frequency
Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV), Inhaled
Nitric Oxide, ECMO and Whole Body
Cooling, to improve outcomes for
for critically ill children
The Children’s Hospital Emergency
Transport Service (CHETS) was started in
2004 to provide emergency transport to
and from KKH, other local hospitals, and
even overseas, for newborns and children
with life-threatening health conditions.
This service is rendered by a team of
doctors and nurses, who specialise in
neonatal and paediatric intensive care,
and are trained to transport critically ill
children through all traffic conditions.
CHETS saved the life of Tan Sih-Fa, son
of family physician Dr Tan Eng Chun, in 2014
when he started to have problems breathing
within half an hour of his birth. A team
arrived with a life-saving machine called
the extra-corporeal membrane oxygenator
(ECMO) to safely transport him to KKH.
For Dr Tan, CHETS had been crucial
to his son’s survival, as Sih-Fa’s heart had
stopped the night he was brought to
KKH. Being on ECMO prevented lasting
damage to the boy’s brain.
Hope for women with high-risk pregnancies
Two months ago, 41-year-old Petsy
Lim was overjoyed as she cuddled her
newborn daughter, Wong Gao An. Her
bundle of joy arrived after two failed
pregnancies at other centres.
At the time, the doctors had
suspected these could be due to a
condition called cervical incompetence,
but nothing was ever confirmed.
For her third pregnancy, Ms Lim
took no chances, and sought out
obstetrician and gynaecologist,
Dr Shephali Tagore, head and senior
consultant, Department of Maternal
Fetal Medicine, KKH.
At about 14 weeks’ gestation,
Ms Lim was admitted for an elective
cervical cerclage to support her womb.
A cervical cerclage is a surgical
procedure in which the cervix (neck
of the womb) is stitched closed in
order to prevent a miscarriage or
Dr Tagore performed the procedure,
and her team specialising in high-risk
pregnancy monitored Ms Lim closely,
together with nurses from Wards 72
The cerclage provided Ms Lim
much-needed support for her womb,
and she later successfully gave birth
to her first child, a healthy baby girl.