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Fetal Diagnostics, Imaging and Treatments

Prenatal testing can involve blood tests, diagnostic imaging studies, and other genetic testing to assess both the pregnant patient and baby’s health. Our Fetal Care Center is equipped with advanced technology and specialized experts to diagnose and treat prenatal conditions found in developing babies. Our multidisciplinary teams work together to provide pregnant patients with the greatest of care before, during and after their pregnancy. 

Services

We offer a variety of fetal diagnostic and imaging services including:

Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis (also referred to as amniotic fluid test or AFT) Is a procedure where a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken from the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus. Learn about the different types of genetic testing performed during an amniocentesis in the treatments section.

3D and 4D Imaging

3D and 4D ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your baby in the womb. 3D ultrasounds create a three-dimensional image of your baby, while 4D ultrasounds create a live video effect that allows you to watch your baby. 3D and 4D ultrasounds can show certain birth defects, such as cleft palate, that might not show up on a standard ultrasound.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is performed during weeks 10-14 of pregnancy. A sample of tissue from the placenta is evaluated to identify chromosomal abnormalities and other inherited disorders, including Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. This is a type of diagnostic test and can be performed through the abdomen or through the cervix.

Level II Scans

A level II ultrasound is a more detailed evaluation of fetal anatomy than a standard ultrasound. This is usually performed around the 20-week mark of pregnancy and can allow the physician to focus on specific parts of the baby’s body.

Fetal Echocardiography

This is a specialized ultrasound where an in-depth assessment of the baby’s heart structure, function, and heart rhythm is performed.  This test can detect most major forms of congenital heart disease and will screen for rhythm disorders.  This is typically performed around the 20-week mark of pregnancy, or when any concern about the baby’s heart has been raised. 

Fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A fetal MRI is a noninvasive imaging test that offers detailed information about anatomic structures of the fetus through high-resolution images. This test uses a magnetic field, rather than radiation, to obtain pictures for evaluation.

Fetoscopy

A small incision is made to the abdominal wall, so that a tiny device tipped with a camera, called an endoscope, may be inserted into an expectant mother's amniotic cavity. This allows physicians to take detailed images of the fetus and to make highly accurate diagnoses.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound (also called sonogram) is a prenatal test that uses sound waves to show a picture of your baby in the uterus (womb) to check on your baby's health and development.

Whole Exome Sequencing

Whole Exome Sequencing is a type of genetic sequencing to help understand the causes or symptoms of a disease through saliva or blood testing. If you have a health condition or family history of medical problems, we may be recommend this testing. If your doctor learns you have a genetic variant for a certain disease, they may be able to advise a proactive treatment plan.

Treatments and procedures

Abdominal and vaginal cerclage

This procedure closes the cervix during a pregnancy. It is performed to help prevent miscarriage or premature birth. Abdominal cerclage involves making one or more incisions in the abdomen to reach the cervix and the cervix is then stitched closed.

Fetal arrhythmia stabilization

This occurs when a baby during pregnancy is affected by an abnormal heart rhythm, causing the heart to beat either too fast or too slow. Maternal medication administration can help correct, or stabilize, the baby’s heart rhythm for the remainder of the pregnancy. 

Fetal shunt placement

Some developing babies have abnormal fluid collection in their chest or urinary bladder problems that prevent their urine from draining into the amniotic fluid. A shunt (hollow tube) is inserted through the mother's abdomen and uterus into the fetus to drain fluid from a fluid-filled space into the amniotic cavity.

Fetoscopic laser photocoagulation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

Laser fetoscopy is the preferred method of treatment for advanced stage twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and for some of the twin anemia polycythemia sequence and can be safely done up until 26 weeks of gestation. The physician makes a very small incision in the mother’s abdomen and inserts a tiny instrument equipped with a laser, which burns the abnormal blood vessel connections on the surface of the placenta. Excessive amniotic fluid is then drained from the area around the recipient twin using a vacuum-assisted device.

In-utero fetal spina bifida repair

Fetal surgery spina bifida, or myelomeningocele, is a surgical procedure where fetal surgeons open the uterus and close the opening in the baby's back while they are still in the womb.

 

In-utero partial exchange transfusion for twin anemia polycythemia sequence

In-utero partial exchange transfusion (iPET) removes some of the newborn’s blood and replaces it with an equal amount of saline solution. This dilutes the remaining red blood cells and corrects the polycythemia. This can be used as alternative treatment option for twin anemia polycythemia sequence.

Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling and in-utero fetal blood transfusion

Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) and intrauterine transfusion (IUT) are techniques used to sample the baby's blood to evaluate and to treat fetal anemia.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a minimally invasive technique that shrinks the size of tumors, nodules or other growths in the body or immediately interrupts blood flow at the selected location. RFA is used in identical twin pregnancies where selective reduction is indicated or chosen.

Selective fetal reduction

Fertility treatments can increase the chances of getting pregnant with more than one baby. Selective fetal reduction, also known as multifetal reduction, lowers the number of fetuses to improve the chances for a healthy pregnancy.