Baby Noor released from Atlanta hospital
Roger Hudgins, left, of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, operates on Baby Noor's spine.
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Doctors on Friday released Baby Noor, the 3-month-old Iraqi girl brought to the United States for life-saving medical treatment after being discovered by U.S. soldiers in Baghdad.
"Her prognosis is excellent as far as her ability to develop normally and cognitively," Dr. Roger Hudgins, the pediatric neurosurgeon at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, told CNN's "Live From."
Hudgins performed the surgery Monday to realign and enclose her spinal column.
She suffered from spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal vertebrae do not form completely around the spinal cord.
Noor will most likely not regain the use of her legs and will have to use a wheelchair, Hudgins said.
Doctors are keeping a close eye on fluid build-up in her brain, which so far has not increased. If it does become progressive and develop into hydrocephalus, Hudgins said, a second surgery may be necessary to drain the fluid.
She is scheduled to return to the hospital for a brain scan next week.
Hudgins said an Atlanta urologist will perform a procedure to help the infant control her bowel and bladder.
Her surgery this week was complicated by the fact that she was not treated within days of birth, as is preferred for spina bifida, and tissue had grown over her spinal cord.
Soldiers from the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade found the baby during a routine "knock-and-search" raid of the family's Baghdad home in December. They worked with U.S. officials and charitable groups to bring Noor to Atlanta for medical treatment.
Doctors have said she would have died without surgery for her spina bifida.
Hudgins said Noor left the hospital Friday with a big smile, which had been absent in recent days.
"She was smiling before the surgery like that and then, a couple days after the surgery she was not very happy with us," he said. "But this morning before she left she had that big broad smile on her face again, it's just a delight to see."
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